I am not gentle by nature. Not sure that I ever have been. And though the broadcast that I watched that spawned this post cited that most people aren’t, I definitely think there are others that may be a little better at it than me. I grew up in a household where you kind of had to have tough skin. And so sometimes I don’t even realize that I can be a little much until I see the response of others. I’m sarcastic, sometimes a little brash, and loud. But as I grow and mature, I see the importance of gentleness. And not only with others, but maybe even more importantly with myself.
To be mild in temperament or behavior, kind and tender. That’s the definition of gentle. And I my friend am a fire cracker. You will often hear me say that I can often be my own worst enemy. I am sooooo hard on myself. About my mistakes, about where I am in life, about who I am. I am constantly trying to do better and be better and often get upset when I find myself succumbing to the same strongholds I continue to struggle with. Being hard on myself, leaves a very small allowance for me to be easy or gentle with others.
Click to tweet /// Being hard on myself, leaves a very small allowance for me to be easy or gentle with others.
Most recently, I feel like I am just so easily annoyed. I constantly have a bazillion things on my mind and it seems like the smallest things send me into a frenzy. But it’s been such a blessing to be a part of my church’s Life Group where we are going through The Keys to a Blessed Life. Each lesson has really been eye opening about things that I really need to work through. Pastor Rick Warren called me out by saying “If you are easily annoyed, you are not wise.” And I thought to myself, “wow.” I definitely pride myself on constantly striving for wisdom, yet I can barely control myself when something so small is a nuisance to me. I literally don’t have the brain capacity for anything outside of my already full mind and I’m really looking forward to taking a little holiday break to reel myself in a bit.
I know sometimes we can think of gentleness as weakness. But as I mature more and more as a woman, I want that to be a part of my character. It’s important to me that I am a person that when you meet me, you remember how I made you feel. And if I was easily annoyed and irritated the whole time, that ain’t looking too good for what I am trying to achieve. In all honesty, gentleness takes so much more strength than being brash and saying anything does. I’ve realized that I need to slow down. Most of the time, I offend or come off harsh just from lack of taking a moment to think about what is actually about to come out of my mouth. I am the person who is constantly having to say, “Well that wasn’t my intent.” But have you heard the saying, the road to hell is paved with good intentions? LOL. Dramatic, I know, but I think it’s such a valid point. Intention really means nothing if your actions continue not to line up.
I love that in the Keys to the Blessed Life series, Warren talked about some of the great things about gentleness. Like it being attractive, commanding respect, and communicating love. That is everything. Think about the people you have encountered with a gentle spirit. Aren’t they most often regal in a way? And I loved that he even said, “And you can’t go home now and force yourself to be gentle.” I laughed until I wanted to cry because that’s exactly what I was thinking while watching the video. But instead, each morning now, I pray for gentleness to settle in my spirit. And it’s hard YALL!!! My goodness. I am so short tempered lately and I hate it! But I know that my prayers are answered. I thank God that I will have a gentle spirit. That I won’t so easily offend, that I won’t need that last word and that when I am in the midst of a disagreement, I can stay calm and articulate disappointment or disagreement without getting so riled up. It won’t be in my own strength of course. That’s why we need God. His strength is perfected in our weakness and I’m thankful for that. I’m exhausted where I am currently. Gentleness and mercy and kindness will certainly give me rest.
Do you consider yourself a gentle person? In what ways have you been able to communicate gentleness to those closest to you? I would love to chat about it in the comments. Also, feel free to drop a note if you would like prayer in the area of gentleness!
Scriptures to reference:
“And he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corr. 12:9
“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” Galatians 5:22
“Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s site. 1 Peter 3:4 (NIV)