August 13, 2010

On Gentleness

If I were interviewing for a job and was asked to use three words to describe myself or my strengths, gentleness would not make the list ... probably not even in the top 50.
  • I am quick to speak & slow to listen.
  • I go from calm to crazy in -5 seconds, when the right buttons are pushed.
  • I hastily judge people, without giving them a chance.
Do you still want to be friends?!

Don't answer that.

So, my quiet time a few days ago led me into a word search on gentleness. I confessed to God how harsh I am with Elizabeth if (when?) she comes out of her room after bedtime - not to mention other times. Having been forgiven, the world gentleness came to mind.


I know, as perhaps do you, that it's part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). I wanted to know more, checking my concordance for some other verses that include the word gentle or gentleness. Here's what I found. (I've linked to the verses, to shorten the post.)
Prov 15:1 - gentle answer leads to good - harsh word leads to bad

Zec 9:9 & Matt 21:5 - Our Lord came gentle and riding a donkey when he entered Jerusalem a week before his crucifixion.

Matt 11: 28-30 - Jesus calls himself gentle and humble in heart and tells his hearers rest is found in Him.

I Pet 3:4 - The internal, unfading beauty, of a gentle and quiet spirit, is of great worth in God's sight.

Col 3:12 - God's people, chosen and loved, should clothe themselves in gentleness, among other things.

I Tim 6:11 - Paul exhorts Timothy to pursue gentleness in addition to big holy things like righteousness, godliness, faith, etc.

I Pet 3:15 - Believers must be ready to give an answer for their hope, but in gentleness and with respect.

Here are a few of my conclusions:
  1. Followers of Christ should grow in gentleness as they mature in faith; our Savior is gentle and we have His spirit in us to cultivate the fruit of gentleness.
  2. Gentleness is good for relationships. Others are blessed as we give gentle answers: our kids, our husbands, our neighbors, our enemies.
  3. Since a gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth in God's sight, I want to pursue gentleness. I love that it is an unfading beauty (see the I Peter 3:4 link). We're going to get older, saggier, and wrinklier, but we can invest ourselves in unfading, inner beauty that pleases God. Cool, huh?
I don't know exactly how I'm going to grow more in this gentleness thing, but since God brought it to mind, I have a *funny feeling* He'll provide me with plenty of opportunities to practice.

It will likely involve a lot of repentance.

Praise God, His grace never runs dry. Phew!

Any thoughts on gentleness you'd like to share with a fellow sojourner?


  1. Mmm. Timely reminder for me.
    The gentle answer and attitude always brings better results when we're dealing with our children, and yet, how often the harsh look or word is out before I even have a chance to think. Yuck! I hate it, and yet... so, so often that's what happens.
    But thanks for this reminder to pray more and to repent more. And to trust more - there is no lack of grace; no lack of willingness on His part to supply us the grace...
    As always - the problem is always on the 'me' side.
    Love, Anne x

  2. Was just praying about this. Refreshing to read. Thanks for your honest heart. Can't wait to regularly read your blog.