As I was driving down the street recently, I noticed a yellow yield sign; and I thought how powerful the word yield really is.

I once heard a child being corrected by his mom. “But, Mom,” he cried, “the cars have to stop for me because I have the right of way.”

The mother answered, “You are right that the cars are supposed to yield to pedestrians. But if a car doesn’t see you, you will be dead right!

As I thought about that, I thought of how easy it is for a person to simply stop walking, to simply not take the next step. But for an automobile driving 55 miles per hour, it is much harder to suddenly stop. It’s even harder for a semi-truck going 55 miles per hour to stop. All the power that larger vehicles have actually makes it tough for them to stop. It’s tough for powerful vehicles to yield.

The same is true in human relations. In so many cases, the only thing it would take to resolve a difficult conflict before it becomes disruptive is for one party to yield. But what I notice is that when someone has a lot of power, it’s like a large vehicle; it’s harder to yield.

If someone has more power, more education, more experience, or more wealth than another, it takes great restraint to yield. But when people choose to lay aside their power for the sake of love and harmony, relationships can be built instead of destroyed.

Our flesh tells us, “With all the power I have, I should not be required to yield. I should just go ahead and run over these people.” But few things are more graceful than power that is properly restrained. Instead of focusing on our ability to run over people, we should ask the Lord to help us to yield when we need to do so.

God Himself is the greatest example of power. Theologically, we say that God is omnipotent, which means He can do anything. But with unlimited power at His disposal and with the ability to destroy the entire universe with a single breath, God instead chose to send His Son Jesus Christ to suffer on Calvary to pay for our sins. When He could have destroyed us, God restrained His power and chose love instead.

Of course, there are times when discipline is appropriate. And there are times when the authorities must be notified. But much of the time, our lives would be better if we would simply choose to yield.

by Dr. Mike Zachary


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