Our post today is from Belinda . . .
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Col 3:12
What exactly is Gentleness? According to one commentary, it is the humble and meek attitude of wanting to help others instead of being superior to them. Dictionary.com describes it as kindly and amiable.
The word gentleness immediately brings to my mind a mother stroking her child's head. And someone who is always moving carefully and is slow to harsh action. I remember a former coworker who was so gentle, everything she touched seemed to be made of marshmallow. I never saw her "grab" anything. I envied her soft touch.
My dear brothers, take note of this; Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry... James 1:9
I take this passage to be an instruction to not let your temper get the best of you. Being gentle means not flying off the handle at the least little offense and attacking others verbally. Does that mean being weak and letting others mistreat you? I believe it means strength with control. It allows us to be tender, caring and nurturing to others. We can stay calm and not escalate problems or conflict.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Prov 15:1
There were times in my working years that I would receive a phone call from someone who was extremely angry, and looking for someone to take it out on. Did it upset me? Oh yes! But I knew that professionally, I couldn't attack back or be disrespectful. More often than not, calm and gentle words on my part diffused the situation. In my personal life, I have reacted the same way (MOST of the time) and it usually smooths ruffled feathers. I am a person who avoids conflict as much as possible, so it was a natural response for me. Sometimes with my family however, I wasn't so calm with my responses. Just ask my kids. *grin*
While reading about Jesus' time on earth, I realize how gentle he was. He was soft spoken, kind, quick to listen and always understanding. We ask ourselves what would Jesus do? He would be gentle. And so should we. Gentle words, gentle actions, gentle hearts.