Are you gentle?
Written by Heather Hart
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Gentleness is defined as being considerate, kind, and tender. Not harsh or severe, but mild and soft. Does that describe you? I have to admit, it doesn't always describe me very well. It's so easy to fall into sin - It's like our default setting. When I stop thinking about God, and concentrate only on myself, I get harsh... and quick. I really think it's because I stop focusing on what God wants, and only think about me, me, me. When I'm focused on myself it's easy to get upset when others do things that screw up my plans, but when I center my thoughts on Christ, when things go wrong it's much easier to respond in kindness, remembering that Christ came to save an imperfect world, not a perfect one.
That brings me to today's verse, I absolutely love the way it's written. Paul starts out by encouraging us to be gentle, and ends by redirecting our thoughts to remind us that God is near. That really just helps to remind me that I can't be gentle when I'm focused on myself. Gentleness is a fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), not a fruit of selfishness... Thus, I can't be gentle if I'm not focused on Christ.
Do you ever tend to get harsh because you are focusing on yourself and your plans instead of on God and what He has done?
The next time you realize that you are lacking in the gentleness department, stop and ask yourself where your focus is. Then, if necessary, redirect your focus onto the fact that God is near, and make sure that your attitude is pleasing to Him.
Father God, I tend to be a very selfish person at times, and that makes me lash out at others instead of letting the fruit of gentleness be evident... can you help me to work on that? I want to focus more on you, and less on me, but I need your help. So, I ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, amen.