Pachyderm pedicures are not a luxury, they’re a necessity. According to an article in The Kansas City Star, if elephants in captivity don’t get regular foot care, they are prone to infections that can be fatal. But clipping the toenails of an animal that can weigh as much as 6 tons can be risky business. So one man had an idea. He developed an “elephant flipper” that allows keepers to restrain an elephant and safely turn it on its side. The device stands 12 feet high, weighs more than 15 tons, and costs $100,000. Several zoos have purchased this helpful contraption.
Caring for people can also be risky. Paul described what it takes to help those who, in perilous times, have wandered from the path of truth. He offers no ingenious device for helping those who are a danger to themselves and others (2 Tim. 2:23,25). Instead, he reminds us that when it comes to caring for the minds and hearts of others, we can’t rely on human ingenuity and muscle. What we really need is the wisdom of God. Without being quarrelsome or arrogant, the Lord’s servant must use gentleness and patience (v.24).
A blend of truth and grace in the presence of danger is more than self-protection. It illustrates for others the heart of the One we are urging them to embrace.
Speak truly and each word of thine
Shall be a fruitful seed;
Live truly, and thy life shall be
A great and noble creed. —Bonar
Use caution and grace when straightening out someone who has strayed.