I score a high DI in the DISC personality test. Gentleness is not something that comes natural for me. That’s just the way I am. Right? So does that mean I shouldn’t expect or aspire gentleness to be a fruit of the Spirit in my life? You know, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness………gentleness.
I am also true to form for the first born child. I can be structured, reliable, cautious and a little controlling. Firstborns have a tendency to act like mini-parents. We are diligent and want to be the best at everything we do and we excel at winning the hearts of those over us. I have been thought to be a bit bossy or pushy because I want others to be their best too. But not necessarily gentle. Then does that make me harsh?
Just over a week ago our son and his wife gave us our fourth grand baby…a sweet little girl. There is not much more precious than a new born and she stole my heart immediately. Gentleness in its purest form.
As I held her that morning in the hospital room her two big sisters wanted to climb up in my lap and hold the baby. “You have to be gentle!” as they each took turns loving on their baby sister and falling in love with her too.
Because babies have a tendency to come in the middle of the night, and ours was no exception, their daddy had taken her big sisters home for a nap. Mommy settled in for her own afternoon nap and I sat and held our new bundle of Joy.
As I sat there in a daze of love I found myself thinking about the real meaning of gentleness and what it looks like in my everyday walk as a follower of Christ.
Gentleness does not mean that we allow others to take advantage of us. It doesn’t mean that we don’t make a stand for truth. But if we love others like Jesus commanded then doesn’t that look like gentleness? As I have matured (and mellowed) in my fifty plus years, I have learned how to correct with love and gentleness. I have learned how to love more kindly. I have seen first hand how a gentle word turns away wrath.
Gentle and strong seem to be antonyms on the surface. But when you look at them both in the light of Jesus’ life they are like twins. Alike but different. Just like I had to be gentle when holding our new baby, I also had to be strong to protect her.
As I think of Jesus and the kind of man he must have been, kind is near the top of that list. Jesus walked his life out being both kind and strong. He rebuked the disciples when they wouldn’t let the little children come unto Him. He allowed Mary to wash His feet and dry them with her hair, yet He cleared the temple of money changers with a whip He made himself. He laid down His life at Calvary yet He rose from death victoriously. Balance ~ Jesus modeled out balance for us.
Most importantly, we are to be gentle towards God. Not aggressive and rebellious to God’s design for our lives. Balancing gentleness and strength are a must and certainly within reach with help from The Holy Spirit. ~ Cindy
Lord, help me to spend time in devotion soaking in your presence. I want to submit and surrender to your Word and plans for me so I can walk in a balanced lifestyle with all of the fruit of The Spirit. Help me to be more like you Jesus.