There is a crooked tree in our backyard. It’s my fault. When it was very young, I transplanted it from where it ought not be, to a place where it could grow nice and tall. Then a year or two later, in an overzealous effort to free it from an evil clingy kudzu vine, I broke the top out of it, leaving it damaged. I should have been more gentle in my attempt to free it from the vine’s choking clutches. Instead, I let my temper flair. I was mad at the kudzu and determined to free the tree my way.
That was several years ago when the tree was a baby and just starting to grow. The tree is older now. Its thickening trunk and limbs are strong and free of kudzu. Even if the kudzu were to start an invasion, the tree would be able to withstand determined attempts to yank it from the branches. But it still bares the scar of the day when it was young, just starting to grow, with tender branches reaching for the heavens. In my haste and anger, I played the part of the zealot. I will always see the result in the crooked tree, and regret it. Perhaps I have a little kudzu of my own to deal with.
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
– Galations 6:1 NKJV