Gentleness can be described as the summation of carefulness and kindness. Most of us have a pretty good understanding of both concepts. When thinking about being careful we often think about handling something fragile or something harmful: a newborn baby, glass, or maybe a sharp object.
Aside from babies, we don’t often put people on the list of things worthy of gentleness. Surely it isn’t because we don’t value our friends and family as fragile or able to be harmed.
If I took a poll, I’d bet majority of us would consider ourselves to be polite and having good manners, but it’s important to also be mindful of how our words and actions can affect another person’s feelings. Especially when ours are hurt.
I’m guilty of this. I used to describe myself as someone who would sting you before you stung me. It was a defense mechanism and I had to change that. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
It’s not easy to be gentle when someone is constantly poking at us. Once I declared that I would no longer be that way, God tested me. I ended up with the most difficult boss that I had ever worked for, twice – in a row! Read about that experience here.
Day after day I had to choose to either be: Nasty, mean, gossip and insubordinate. Or, be: Forgiving, loving, understanding and patient. It wasn’t easy. Every day wasn’t perfect. But day by day I saw a change in not only my horrible boss but also myself! A change that I liked!
Proverbs 21:2 says, “People may be right in their own eyes but the Lord examines the heart” Let’s not be so prideful that we justify our attitudes. Let’s always remember that God really sees our hearts.
Before we speak, before we do – let’s always do a heart check to make sure it’s filled with gentleness toward all.
Read about kindness: