“I choose gentleness… Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice, may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.” Max Lucado
What if more of us chose gentleness?
What if we considered what might be won ~ or rather, what might be lost ~ by not choosing it?
To be gentle is to be kind and considerate; it is the opposite of being harsh, severe, and demanding. If we are choosing gentleness, it is easy for others to be around us: it is easy to be themselves, easy to let down their guards, and easy (or easier!) to show their weaknesses and flaws.
It describes the way in which the Proverbs 31 woman spoke (with a “gentle wisdom” according to verse 26, Good News Translation).
It is what can diffuse a tense situation or an angry disagreement: “A gentle response turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.”
And it describes the wisdom that is of the Lord: “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17)
Furthermore, to be gentle is:
💫 To live as we are called to live
“… live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:1-2)
💫 To clothe ourselves with qualities that reflect Christ and who we now are in Him
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
💫 To display the fruit of the Spirit
“But the fruit of the Spirit is … gentleness…”
💫 Above all, to be like Christ
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)
Is this not what the world needs ~ and what our individual worlds need ~ now, more than ever? Lord, help me to choose gentleness!
“Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near!” (Philippians 4:5 NET)