I was taking a walk with my brother and mother last Saturday morning. There is a wooded walking track near my parents’ house. My right knee has been giving me some trouble so I couldn’t stay with the fast pace we were going. I told Daniel and Mama to go ahead so I wouldn’t slow them down. As I was walking, there was no one around and the woods were so still and quiet. Everything was so peaceful. The word gentle came to mind. I started thinking about verses from the Bible about gentleness. Gentleness is something Jesus values. Gentleness is a fruit of the spirit. Gentleness helps a person find rest for their souls.
Matthew 29:11 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.
Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
Gentle is defined as having or showing a mild, kind, or tender temperament or character. Another definition is moderate in action, effect, or degree; not harsh or severe.
It is easy to lose our cool with those around us. I’m sure most of us can think of people we’ve been around who are not gentle! We’ve all gotten upset with our spouse or children at one point or another and reacted without gentleness. Tensions are probably higher than normal right now during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is easy to respond in a harsh, impatient way to people around us, especially when things are so tumultuous. Thankfully God knows we are human and far from perfect.
However, I want to be a person who responds with gentleness. How do people feel when they are around me? What words would they use to describe me? Would they say they feel refreshed or drained after being around me? My parents have a little plaque on a bookshelf that says “be a fountain, not a drain”. While no one is perfect, I hope no one leaves after being around me feeling drained! Striving to be refreshing to others is such an awesome goal to reach for! And if we can’t be refreshing, maybe at least responding to others with kind, gentle words and actions is a start.
Lord, help me respond to my family and friends with gentleness even if I’m tired or stressed. Help me to respond with gentleness even when others respond with harshness. Remind us to respond gently to others because when we do we are allowing Holy Spirit to work through us to minister to another person. Help us to come to you when we need rest for our souls so we can then be a conduit of your gentleness to others. Thank you for your gentleness with us. In Jesus name, Amen.