One day, a young woman went to visit her grandmother on her grandmother's farm. The young lady had just graduated Bible college and was so excited about the ministries God had opened up to her.  She found her grandmother out back with the chickens.

 

She greeted her grandmother with a kiss as her grandmother set a chicken seed pail on a nearby bench.  The young woman began bubbling with excitement as she told her grandmother about graduation and about getting to teach teen girls in Sunday school and getting to help with a ladies' Bible study once a week.  Her grandmother smiled as she listened.

The young lady then asked her grandmother a question. "Granny, you spent many years in ladies and children's ministries. Do you have any advice?"

The grandmother smiled so gently. She leaned over and picked up the pail of chicken food. When the chickens saw the food pail being picked up again, they quickly encircled the two women. The grandmother handed the pail to her granddaughter and motioned for her to feed the chickens. The young woman reached in the pail and gently tossed the food toward the chickens. The chickens gathered even closer than before, pecking the ground contentedly.

Suddenly, the grandmother reached sharply into the pail, grabbed food, and slung it harshly at the chickens. The chickens scattered in fear. The young lady was startled. She had never seen her grandmother behave in such a vicious manner.

The grandmother saw the confused look on the girl's face.  She began to explain...

"There are two ways to feed chickens.  Gently and lovingly... The chickens gather around and feast... Or harshly, and the chickens scatter for fear.  The food is the same, just the delivery is changed.  My advice? Never neglect feeding the chickens... And when you do feed the chickens, be careful how you feed them."

Ephesians 4:15 "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:"

Ladies, as we teach our children, as we work in ladies and children's ministries, as we confront those in sin, and as we share the Gospel... May we remember that we should never neglect truth, and we should always be aware of our method of delivering that truth.  May our words always be guided by love in our delivery.  When we do, that's when real growth in Christ is possible.