“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Gentleness is one of the fruits of the spirit that doesn’t get as much attention as the other ones. Think about it… how many times have you specifically looked to see how gentle you could be each day?
Gentleness is defined as the quality of being kind and tender-hearted. Gentleness therefore is not solely a fruit of the Spirit but a characteristic trait that is 100% necessary in life. Jesus tells us that the first commandment is to love God followed directly by loving your neighbor.
How do you love your neighbor if you don’t exhibit the nature of gentleness? No matter what season of life you are in, gentleness is a trait that needs to be studied, developed and mastered.
Mothers need to be gentle with their children. (Who wants an angry, yelling mom?)
Wives need to be gentle to their husbands (no nagging!)
Leaders need to be gentle with their spheres of influence and to develop the next generation of leaders.
Women need to be gentle to themselves. (No self-hate)
Career and business people need gentleness to navigate corporate America and overall commerce.
"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."
I’ll be the first to admit that I have not always been the most tender-hearted person. I was a “show me what you need” woman and if you were too slow or too late, I passed you up. Over time however I noticed how life for myself and everyone around me seemed much greater once I had a bit more patience, understanding and compassion for myself and others.
What does gentleness look like in daily life?
1. One of the golden rules: If you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything. Silence, at times, can be our friend.
2. Have compassion and understanding for others even when you know they aren’t doing something correctly. It’s easy to become defensive to get a point across however gentle correction is how behavior is changed and sustained long term.
3. Positively affirm the people around you. Encourage and edify them with the word of God or just pure kind words.
4. Have prayer and devotion with the Lord daily and consistently. You have to be filled before you can pour out especially when you are trying to change a behavior of your own!
Food for Thought
People will remember you based on your level of gentleness. Our prime example is Jesus’ continuous gentleness and love for us which helps us stay on His path versus our own, despite the trials and errors of using human wisdom.
"Let your gentleness be evident to all"
How do you maintain and exhibit the spirit of gentleness even if gentleness was not expressed to you in your earlier years of life?