There are several character qualities that are important to me. Integrity is very, very important to me. It pretty much sums up who you are as a person and what you value in life. Empathy is important to me – to know how to understand what someone else might be feeling or going through. And then there’s gentleness. Gentleness is very important to me.
I believe God was gentle. He was gentle with all children. He was gentle with sinners who screwed up. He was gentle with His followers who messed up. He was gentle in how He spoke and in how He touched someone physically. I believe gentleness was important to Him.
I think people forget how to be gentle. As they grow up, they get hurt. So they toughen up, grow more critical, judgmental, and bitter. It’s like we have gotten so afraid of being who we truly are, that we develop a tough skin in order to protect ourselves JUST IN CASE someone might hurt us. Just in case.
There is a risk in being gentle. You can be taken advantage of. Let’s face it. If people know you are a kind, gentle person and they have needs in their life; they just might hit you up – often – to help them out. And if you are gentle, people can also ignore you thinking that your gentleness must mean that you have no backbone. But they are often wrong.
Remember when I said God spoke and touched gently? But I also believe my God was STRONG. He was WISE. And He was FOCUSED. He wasn’t weak or foolish. He wasn’t wishy-washy. He just made a choice. To be gentle. To love gently.
And that is my choice too. I believe gentleness can soften a hardened heart. I believe gentleness can diffuse anger. I believe gentleness can win a wayward soul and I believe gentleness can teach.
I think our world desperately needs more gentleness. We need gentleness not to coddle us or bail us out of our own bad choices. But rather we need it to soothe our stressed-out and weary souls. We need it to love all over us and give us strength and courage to make the right choices and head in the right direction. We need gentleness to heal us.
To be gentle. It’s a fruit of the spirit and God valued it highly.