For some reason the word and theme of Gentleness has come up in my world several times these past two weeks. Several! I have learned that when things keep repeating themselves, it is a clue to pay attention. I often times think it is how God speaks to us.
Forgive me for sounding judgmental, but the world has been anything but gentle these past few weeks. The recent presidential election threw everyone into a panic and instantly changed even sweet, older ladies into hardened opponents. It has been ugly folks! And those are just the Christians. Let's not even talk about the rioters and those spewing hate from one side of the country to the other.
Through it all, all I could think of was, what is wrong with everyone? Where have they put their brains? Do we really need to attack people, literally in many cases, because they do not agree with us or believe in what we believe?
Oh my goodness.
Where has our gentleness gone?
After all, we ARE called to gentleness.
Just look at what the Bible has to say about it-
Philippians 4:5 (NIV)
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
Galatians 5: 22-24(ESV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Regardless of how we feel or even what we think, as Christians we are called to be Christ-like. To display the characteristics that He displayed. To be gentle.
I am not saying we have to lay down our beliefs and convictions, but I do firmly believe that we can and should share with others in gentleness. No one ever won someone over with yelling and throwing a fit. (Just ask any mother!) Gentle words are more likely to be heard than any rant ever was. (Just ask any kid!)
So what, my friend, are you know for?
For your rants.
For your harsh words.
For your tantrums.
For your judgmental attitude.
Or for your patience.
And kind words.
And reasonable tolerance.
I don't know about you, dear friends, but I want people to know me by my gentleness. To see God reflected in me. And to be drawn to me because of that. It is something I am working on.
How about you? What are you known for?