Cody Lutz and his fiancé Laura made the most of a recent winter storm that swept through Kentucky.
Laura was visiting from Mississippi, where deep snow is a rarity. So when the snow fell they spent the day sledding, snowball fighting, and building a huge, nine and a half-foot-tall snow man.
Since the snowman, whom they named “Frosty,” was so tall, they built his base around a massive tree stump in Cody’s yard. They put a smile on his face and crowned him with a tall top hat.
Big Frosty delighted people in the neighborhood. Passing traffic waved and honked their horns in approval as the big guy neared completion.
But not everyone looked with favor on the big snowman. One motorist saw such a tall snowman as an opportunity for some cruel fun. You know the type of person—the jerk that loves to destroy what others have built. That night they drove their vehicle off the road and onto Cody’s yard and headed straight for Frosty to knock him down.
The word “shock” probably describes the motorist’s reaction when he hit Frosty with his vehicle. Frosty didn’t budge one bit, for he had a tree stump for a spine. After the impact, Frosty still stood there with a smile on his face. But the motorist’s bumper was bent. He backed off and drove away, perhaps thinking, “Man, I didn’t know a snowman could be so tough. I thought he’d be a pushover.”
You know, every kind, gentle, and good-natured person in the world can relate to this story. They can testify that there are jerks out there who will always interpret their kindness as weakness. They treat others with courtesy, only to have some moron consider them a pushover. So the jerk tries to bully this “softy.” Maybe the kind person flexes a little. But they eventually stand their ground like a tree stump and show their true strength.
And, yes, it is a demonstration of strength to show kindness, gentleness, and courtesy—especially in today’s society. Our culture is so enamored with the “tough guy” image. It fails to realize that being rude, cruel, and heartless is easy. An outburst of anger requires no self-restraint, no self-control. When an adult flies into a rage it is nothing more than a temper tantrum.
The strong person controls himself. He subdues his anger—for the sake of those around him. Believe me, when you’re surrounded by jerks, it takes a ton of strength and effort to be kind and courteous.
Strength is not demonstrated by doing the easy, but the difficult. Flying off the handle is easy. Showing kindness and love in a harsh and arrogant world is not.
So beware of the kind and gentle person. Don’t mess with them. You’ll find they’ve got a spine as strong as a tree stump.
King Solomon wrote, “He who is slow to anger is better than him who is mighty in battle, and the one who controls his spirit is better than him who captures a city” (Prov. 16:32).
Dear Father in heaven, please strengthen and fortify me. Make me strong enough to show love and kindness in this harsh and hurtful world. Even if others consider me a pushover, make me powerful enough to bless and to heal others with my words and my deeds. Amen.