Honeybees and Killer Instinct


“Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God.” Romans 11:22

Just because the business of the bees is producing sweet soothing honey does not mean the bees lack fierceness. They have a killer instinct too.

I thought about this tonight because of a conversation with my Dad, also because my name “Melissa” means honeybee.

Recently my husband and I picked up playing doubles tennis with my parents. On the way home for the second night in a row my Dad says to me.”Melissa I really think you should try golf.”

A little disgruntled at that idea, because it seems like a super frustrating sport, especially the putting part, I asked him “Why do you think that?”.  (just like I had asked him the same question the night before and he gave me the same answer.)

“Well, in golf you are competing more with yourself. You don’t need that killer instinct.”

But I love the competitive aspect of tennis.

And in a sarcastic aggressive (joking) tone he said something like  “Do you really want to just slam that ball and crush your opponent.”

This might seem silly if you know me, but yes I actually do; laughs. Not to hurt the opponent of course, but to win, yes!

However, if I even attempt to do that right now, my ball would go flying out of bounds or hit the net.

For now my fierce competitive side means reigning it all in to keep the ball in bounds.

I have experienced this sort of misunderstanding about my “passion” more than once.

During a college internship while getting my teaching degree, I ended up being mentored by my former 4th grade teacher. I distinctly remember part of our conversation when I met with her for the first time after several years.

She told me how she still hadn’t forgotten the surprise she felt the moment I got up and gave my persuasive speech.  “This little girl with a soft voice stood up, and gave a fierce and passionate performance. ”

I was probably one of the smallest kids in the class with one of the most quiet voices.

This idea of gentleness and fierce passion is something I have been thinking about lately.

There is no lack of passion in gentleness. There is a firm resolve at the core of it. A steady fierce unwavering purpose to accomplish a goal; whether to bring peace to a relationship, comfort to the hurting, or to dissipate strife.

I am not implying we don’t need stern discipline at times or a more direct harsh approach toward certain circumstances.

Tonight I was just thinking about how the two qualities can be intertwined; gentleness + passion.

And that you can have a gentle disposition AND a fierce competitive streak!

Oliver just riding around on the tennis courts while Jeff and I played a tennis match with his Papa and Gigi.




5 thoughts on “Honeybees and Killer Instinct

    1. Thank you. Yes, the scripture context is about grafting us in and pruning; made me think of your mention of flowers too. I used to feel afraid of the “stern” part in the scripture, but I am learning to take comfort in that part too. Thanks for your feedback and encouragement.


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