In Search of… Gentleness
I always found it interesting that gentleness is listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit. Gentleness might seem like something small and unimportant, but there are a lot of reasons why it is necessary in our lives!
Without gentleness, our lives can quickly become chaotic. When you think about it, gentleness is crucial in our Christian lives. Gentleness in our words, gentleness in our tone of voice, gentleness in the way we treat others, gentleness in helping and serving, gentleness in our attitude, gentleness in our actions, gentleness in every area of our life. The gentleness that is displayed in our lives should be visible to those around us. Just like all of the other fruits of the Spirit, our gentleness should be a good example to others and point them to Christ.
Gentleness is so important in creating joyful, calm, peaceful, enjoyable environments. I would consider the home to be the place most in need of gentleness. Having a calm and gentle atmosphere in a home and family is so, SO important. Growing up in a large family, I have seen so many examples of this. If there is tension between two of the siblings, it really does start tearing away at the gentle atmosphere in our home. There can be so many small misunderstandings every single day. But looking back, almost every conflict can be avoided if we chose our words and actions wisely. One of the things that our parents have tried to teach us from a very young age is to think before we speak. How many arguments and disagreements could be avoided if we just stopped to think about our words before we spoke them?
If you are upset about something, do your best to stop and think about the words that you are speaking. Are your words helpful? Are they uplifting? Are they encouraging? Or are our words going to put someone down? Are they discouraging? Are they hurtful and rude? Will you soon regret the words that you spoke out of frustration? 99.9% of the time, yes you will. So many apologies can be spared if we just learn to think before we speak. Speaking gentle words of encouragement is so important!
It is also important to show gentleness in our actions. Think of the good Samaritan in the bible. Others had passed by the man laying in the street. People who most would consider “good, Christian people” had purposely looked away and quickly passed by. They didn’t take the time out of their day to stop and care for another. They weren’t looking for opportunities to demonstrate God’s love. Instead, they were too caught up in their own life to stop and show gentleness to a stranger. Even though they appeared to be good people on the outside, their hearts were selfish. They were more worried about themselves, than the wellbeing of another.
So often we can become selfish in our thoughts, words, and actions. 2 Timothy chapter 2 verse 24 says, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,” We should be willing to go out of our way to help others. Note that this verse uses the word ‘servant.’ We should do our best to serve the lord, serve our family, and serve our church. Being a servant to others isn’t a bad thing! Having a servant’s heart is so crucially important in our lives!
Why did the good Samaritan stop and help the wounded man? Was it because he was bored and simply didn’t have anything else to do? Was someone paying him to help that man? Was he forced to help him? No, no, and no. His gentle actions came from a servant’s heart. A heart that was willing to put aside his own personal needs, and focus on the needs of another. He was willing to sacrifice his own time, comfort, and money, to help another. He wasn’t worried about what the man would give him in return. He wasn’t worried about the man paying him back when he got well. He wasn’t interested in trying to show off, or become well known for what he had done. He wasn’t looking for recognition.
James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
The good Samaritan had something that the others did not. A servant’s heart. His actions were full of wisdom. Pure, peaceable, and gentle. He could have just passed on his way like the others had. But instead he choose to go out of his way to show mercy and kindness.
Is gentleness really that important in our Christian lives? Yes! Yes! And Yes!