Throughout the Bible, the truth of God's kingdom is displayed in ways that seem contrary to the world we're living in. There's a pull in our spirits - longing for heaven, yet, dwelling here. That conflict can be increased by the bombardment of information, ideologies, and opinions. You see, the enemy can't create anything. But he can, and does, pervert it. The very things God has called good, are the things satan works to destroy.
Over and over in scripture we see that gentleness is a gift from God to us, and a character trait He desires in His children. And yet, in our broken society, it is often viewed as weakness. Today, let's unpack the truth of God's Word and look at some ways we can become intentional about being gentle.
Confession time: I am not, by my own human nature, a gentle person. At some point - I don't even remember when - I bought into the lie that gentleness and weakness were the same. I wanted to be perceived as strong and capable. Because of my deceived interpretation of strength, I fought to hold back anything that appeared emotional or affectionate. Ultimately, because I was hard on myself, true gentleness was something I held in reserve.
Maybe you can totally relate. Or perhaps that seems foreign to you. Either way, let's look at gentleness through the clarity of scripture.
where gentleness begins.
Like all things, gentleness begins at the Beginning. With Father God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. Gentleness is not an emotion or simply a descriptive word, it is part of the nature of God. And we, as His children, created in His image, should bear that nature, as well!
"You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great." - Psalm 18:35
The first verse of Psalm 18 tells us that this particular song was written by David on the day God delivered him from all his enemies. He was celebrating victory! Yet, he didn't say it was God's strength, might, or power that made him great. Instead, David attributed it to the gentleness of God.
"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." - Matthew 11:29
In the new testament we see Jesus, Himself, referencing His gentleness. This verse resonates with many of us when we are feeling weary, doesn't it? Even if you've read this verse a thousand times, take a moment to consider His gentleness. Because He is gentle, we find rest.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." - Galatians 5:22&23
Finally, in the well known fruit of the Spirit passage, we find that Holy Spirit bears gentleness. As followers of Jesus, Holy Spirit's fruit should be evident in and through us, but the fruit itself is not of our doing, but of Him.
why we should be gentle.
Aside from the fact that Jesus is gentle, and we are called to be like Jesus, there are a number of scriptures that instruct us to be gentle. I know the temptation to skim over scriptures we've read before, but try not to. Take a couple of moments and let these words sink deep into your soul:
"I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." - Ephesians 4:1-3
"Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand." - Philippians 4:5
"But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." - 1 Timothy 6:11&12
"For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." - James 3:16-18
"Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel-- rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." - 1 Peter 3:3&4
how we should be gentle.
what being intentionally gentle looks like in my life.
I am taking moments before responding - pausing to ask Jesus to help me be gentle. Whether it's in correcting a disobedient child, during a disagreement with a loved one, or in response to an unkind stranger in the grocery store (oh, if I could only get some of those comments on camera!) - I want gentleness to come from my heart, words, tone, body language, and actions.
I am working to be fully surrendered to Jesus - without need to defend or build up myself. When I trust Him, there is no longer a need to be stoic. Strength from Jesus looks vastly different - and is far more powerful - than the diluted sense of strength I once knew!
I am asking for forgiveness. Because, let's be real friends, this is an area where I still need a lot of work. So, I'm owning up to it. When my words are unkind, my tone is harsh, my eye brows shoot up, and my attitude is haughty - I don't let it fester. Instead, I call it what it is - sin - and ask for forgiveness. It's humbling, having to look into the beautiful eyes of your child and tell them that your actions did not reflect Jesus' love and your sorry - but it's important. Because in those moments of forgiveness, we are teaching our children about the gentleness of Jesus, and His forgiveness.
Next week, I'm going to be talking about Being Intentional with your Space! That's right, I'm talking decluttering, organization, and purposeful living in your home! I hope you'll be joining us!
How do you practice gentleness? How has someone else's gentleness effected you? Is being intentionally gentle something you've considered before?
Here you will find the musings of a homeschooling, work from home, adoptive Momma of 6! Adventures in faith, family, adoption, and training up a tribe of little people to follow hard after Jesus are spilled into these posts --- most often written with a cup of coffee in hand. I hope you'll stick around a while and find something - more likely SOMEONE! - that brings you hope!
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