What is gentleness?
We think of it when we carefully hold a newborn, or when we give instructions to the movers as they unpack your grandmother's fragile china. we use it in directions to our children as we unravel brother's hair from sister's sticky fingers, and when we comfort a friend grieving the loss of a loved one gone on before.
But do we really know what gentleness is? Focus On The Family Gary Thomas writes:
"Gentleness is a strong hand with a soft touch. It is a tender, compassionate approach to towards others weaknesses and limitations. A gentle person still speaks truth, sometimes even painful truth, but in doing so guards his tone so that the truth can be well received."
Gentleness takes on many outfits in the daily life of a woman. It's worn in your smile as you patiently work with intense and highly energetic children in your ministry. Its worn in your touch as you shake the hand of a stranger, making him or her feel welcome in your home or church. Its worn in your attitude as you listen to your husband talk about his day, instead of unloading on him about your own.
Gentleness isn't just a cute little kids song we sing, or a word we notice in the Bible every once in a while. Paul said he was gentle to the Thessalonians as he shared the Gospel with them because "you are dear to us." 1 Thess 2:7-8
He told Timothy that a "servant of the Lord must not strive (struggle or or fight vigorously) but be gentle to ALL men..."
And the wisdom that God gives us "is first pure, then peaceable, GENTLE...."
Gentleness is not necessarily a gift, as much as it it a choice. Max Lucado writes:
"I choose gentleness. Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice, may it only be in prayer. If I clench my fist, may it only be in prayer. If I make a demand, may it only be of myself."
Gentleness does not mean that you will become less. It means the very opposite. It's not me who says so; its God.
Psalm 18:35 - "Your gentleness has made me great."