Thursday, May 22, 2014

To Provoke or Not To Provoke...

Hey Everybody,

As always, I hope all is well with you and your family. This is the final week of school, then summer VA-CA... here I come. I've got a cute little story to share with you. One of my 4th graders was sitting on the front seat, my Pre-K student was sitting directly behind him. My 4th grader says, "Ms. Carolyn, tell her to stop looking at me like I'm stupid". I glance up in the student mirror, I don't see her watching him, and I tell my 4th grader, "Well, you know you're not stupid." A few minutes later, "Ms. Carolyn, tell her to stop looking at me." I glance up in the student mirror and there she is staring him down, she's so cute and little and the icing on the cake; she wears glasses :) She may have been looking at him like he was stupid, but she was also looking at him like, "I will cut you" in my Bon Qui Qui voice. I called to her and she sat back, I tried not to smile about the situation, but I couldn't help it, I know some of the student's must have seen me. Why she was doing it, I don't know, but they all do things to provoke one another; not a day goes by that they don't irritate one another... sometimes unintentionally, but most times... on purpose.

So my question to you is, Are you provoking others? Are you doing things perhaps, unintentionally... that sets another person off? My dad had this thing, he could not stand the sound of popping gum and I could go to town with some gum. Now, I wasn't doing it on purpose... I just forgot. The first few pops he didn't say anything, it wasn't until I found my rhythm, he would say, "what did I tell you about popping that gum." I know your mind went to that seen in that "Madea" film. I was going to post that clip, but decided against it, LOL. Anyway, that was my cue to leave the room. Just in case you think that's not you, let me give you the definition for provoke.

PROVOKE - to anger, enrage, exasperate or vex, to stir-up, arouse, or call forth (feelings, desires, or activity). To incite or stimulate (a person or animal, etc.) to action. To give rise to, induce, or bring about.

That definition hits on all levels, whether it is another person or animal. You can probably recall a time when your children may have provoked or stimulated the family pet; you've even witnessed your own children going at it from time to time, just nit-picking. Perhaps, you may have provoked someone by being "flirtatious" or dressing in a "provocative" manner. Have you ever seen someone who was already upset or angry and someone comes along and adds fuel to a situation that has been kindling, maybe you were that person. I'm just throwing this out there to get us all thinking about the ways we may provoke someone.

Galatians 5:19-26 (KJV)
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Don't think of the word provoke as only associated with negativity, we can provoke others to good works, our word of choice is usually; motivate, encourage, or inspire. When I'm in the gym and can barely do another rep, my fitness instructor provokes me to push through. The word of God provokes us to do His Will, not out of fear (fight or flight or paralyzing fear) but reverential fear (loving respect and honor for a Holy Father). The Grace of Jesus, provokes us to live in His righteousness.

Hebrews 10:24 (KJV)

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:s. When we look at all that our Lord has done for us how could we not have a desire to please Him.

Ephesians 6:4  (KJV) 
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Love & Blessings <3