Do You Push Them or Pull Them?

Do you influence others with a push or a pull?

My third grade teacher was a matronly grandma who sat on a stool to read us the story of Dr. Dolittle, and I will never forget the amazing way Dr. Dolittle could talk to animals.

You do remember the pushmi-pullyu he encountered on his way to Africa?

I’ve been thinking about that animal every day when I go to school –because I’ve got to move people, and the easiest, most natural way is to push them.

Why can’t you work harder?

My words come out as a shove.

But who wants to be pushed and nagged nearly to death to get where they need to go?

No one.

So I’m praying, Lord, help me be a puller.

Now this takes more work, thinking about what kind of words I can speak that will be a kind hand to help a student up.

Much more work.

Pushing doesn’t require thinking about the other person at all. You just grab words and throw.

Pulling requires thinking about the people –each one individually. What will pull this one up? Pulling requires me to be the student, to learn what makes each person want to learn and improve and succeed.

God does it with us, this patient pulling toward holiness.

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13 NIV)

As teachers, moms, employers, and leaders, we are responsible for moving people every day.

How can you be a puller today?

One Comment

  1. Mary Bryan says:

    Lovely reminder! Thank you.

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