I long to be gentle. As long as I’m still cleared for quick comebacks. And dad jokes. Once I ended a joke about the unsteady composition of a rocking chair with “cane just wasn’t able.” I know. It wasn’t funny then, either. I’m here all night! Tip your waiters and waitresses!

Back to being gentle. It doesn’t come easy for me, but it’s a life skill I am determined to learn, with the help of You Know Who. But why does God, the most powerful being in the universe, treasure gentleness? Because he himself is gentle with us! He is a loving Father who cares deeply about each of us and he wants us to treat each other well. I love this tender description of the Lord:

The opposite of gentleness is being hot-tempered and easily provoked to anger. Gulp. God has already brought me far in this area, but every now and then my temperature rises a bit, especially when I feel disrespected or someone is hurting people I care about. Anger never makes the situation better. It certainly doesn’t help communication or resolve disagreements. The Bible actually says in Proverbs 15:1 “ A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” A gentle answer might just save a relationship! Plus, God says a woman who is gentle is precious in his sight. Help me, Lord.

We also need the Holy Spirit to help us develop gentleness so we can lovingly share the gospel with unbelievers without getting frustrated. It takes time, sometimes. We are also called to help restore our Christian brothers and sisters who are struggling with sin without being arrogant or condemning.

Jesus, who had every right to judge and be angry when the very people he created scorned, mocked, and rejected him, asked God not to punish them, but to forgive them. He went to the cross without a word of anger or protest, because he loved us so.

What an example Jesus has set for us. His love seeps out of every word in Scripture, and in every breath he took as he walked along the dusty road toward his death. The challenging part is to put it into practice ourselves, but we must try.

Help us, God, to grow into the people you mean for us to be: holy, loving, kind, and gentle to all. Holy Spirit, work in us so we may be full and complete, lacking nothing. We need you, Lord. Thank you, Jesus, for coming to show us what true love is. We love you.

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