Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Gentleness

I am not a gentle person.  

I SO wish I was, but I'm not.  

The Bible has a lot to say about gentleness.  Sometimes it refers to a gentle tongue or gentle words (Proverbs 15:1; Proverbs 25:15).  Sometimes it refers a person's spirit (1 Corinthians 4:21), the spirit of God (I Kings 19:2), or even Christ's spirit, "I am gentle and humble in heart," (Matthew 11:29).  Regardless of the reference, the Bible makes it clear that gentleness is somethings to be valued and admired.  It is a fruit of the spirit.  Something we should all possess through the Holy Spirit living in us.

So what does that mean when you are not a gentle person, like me?

Some people are naturally gentle, sensitive, and quiet.  Some of us are not.  I have spent a fair amount of time longing to be something I'm not.  I look at women who possess these innate characteristics that I do not and I am envious.  Gentleness comes so easy for them and it is SO HARD for me.  

There is a reason that God encourages us to be gentle.  More often than not the trouble that I get into is a direct result of my lack of gentleness.  I will speak harshly to someone who didn't deserve it.  I will rush through my day taking care of what I need to take care of, leaving a wake of people I rudely rushed by in my effort to get "the list" done.  If I would take the time to think about my words and actions, take the extra time to be gentle with those around me whom I love and treasure, I would most likely have a lot less tension in my life.  But I don't do those things, because I'm not a gentle person.

God didn't get it wrong, he didn't mess up when he made me.  He made me perfectly, just the way I am, my ungentle, hurried self.  And he will use me for his good, despite the fact that I am not gentle.  Just like he will use you, despite whatever your weaknesses might be.  
He will use my ungentle nature, just as he uses someone else's gentle nature. 

But don't get me wrong, along the way he will call me to be more.  He will call for me to be gentle even when I don't want to be.  I will have to repent for the times that my lack of gentleness hurt the people around me and I will have to seek forgiveness, from God and from others.  He will call for me to change my very nature from a selfish, harsh and hurried person to a gentle, sensitive and at times even quiet one.

It will be hard, because I am not a gentle person.  But it will be so worth it!