“I choose gentleness… Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.”― Max Lucado
When God made me, He made a girl who loves, loves, loves for everyone around her to be happy! A girl that smiles at strangers and laughs all the time! A girl that wears her heart on her sleeve and is gentle in speech, in action and in touch.
During a time when I wasn’t really walking with God, I totally was overrun by emotions 24/7. I try to be thoughtful in everything I do and say, so when people weren’t as thoughtful back, it just rocked my emotions – I didn’t and couldn’t understand why they weren’t thoughtful too!
So I really started to focus on trying to not be so ‘weak’, because to me, gentleness, kindness, and thoughtfulness are perceived as weakness to others. And I found myself becoming cold and callused by things of the world because I didn’t allow myself to show my soft side any longer.
I was tired of being hurt.
I wanted off the emotional roller coaster. When someone wasn’t kind to me, I was rude back. When someone gave me a mean look – I gave one back. I was slowly but surely conforming to the world because it was much easier to simply not care. Little did I know that I was actually choosing to constantly be hurt which snowballed to where I was choosing to be bitter about it all.
I was choosing to let others actions affect me instead of choosing to look to God to see who I really was in Him. I look back and see how vicious this cycle was and realize now that my joy and healing was only made complete when I turned to God.
“You are the only you God made… God made you and broke the mold.”-Max Lucado
As my relationship with God grew, I learned that I Am What He Says I am and I don’t have to conform to the world just to function. I was created in His image!! (Genesis 1:27) God softened my heart and returned it to it’s original state, and then some! I stand confidently on the promises that He has made me and I now can say that I can be gentle and kind and loving to everyone and still be More than A Conqueror through Christ. He also showed me that in a world that can often be harsh, it takes strength to be gentle.
Now the actions of others don’t affect my emotions in a negative way. Instead I try to seek ways to give compassion and gentleness to those who need it.
I can be sure to tell you though, that this change wasn’t me. It was God working in me to renew my heart and mind. Now I can look at myself in the mirror and realize that all the qualities that I once thought of as weaknesses are beautiful – they are reflections of Christ in me.
I love the part of Elijah’s story in 1 Kings 19 that illustrates the gentleness of God:
“The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.“
How amazing that because of God’s love, in a world that can be so cruel, I can be soft and kind! In a world jam-packed with mean and harsh people, I can be gentle and sweet with all that I come into contact with. I have not accepted the calluses that the world tries to give me because I am not of this world and God’s Word is my truth.
When I turn to the Word of God I can see that Gentleness is a character trait of God that I am called to imitate.
- “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” ~ Galatians 5:22-23
- “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” ~ Colossians 3:12
- “But you, man of God, pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” ~ 1 Timothy 6:11
- “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” ~ 1 Peter 3:15
In all the times that my actions should have let God down, they didn’t and He has continued to love me all the same. Don’t let the world harden your heart and turn you toward bitterness and callousness. Choose to walk in love and gentleness today.
“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” ~ Saint Jerome