A couple of weeks ago, Colossians 3:12-14 inspired me to write a post, which you can read here.

This beautiful passage says this,

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

As I have meditated on these words recently, God has been speaking to my heart about the importance of gentleness.

Galatians 5:23 tells us that gentleness is one of the fruit of the Spirit, and Philippians 4:5 instructs us to let our gentleness be evident to all. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 10:1 mentions that his appeal to the church in Corinth is in the gentleness of Christ. Later, in Timothy 6:11, Paul teaches that gentleness must be pursued.

So, what exactly does gentleness mean? I went to the dictionary just to get an idea of what this might look like. Here’s what the Oxford American Dictionaries give as definitions and synonyms in regard to a person:

mild in temperament or behavior; kind or tender; moderate in action, effect, or degree; not harsh or severe; sympathetic, considerate, understanding, compassionate, benevolent, good-natured; humane, lenient, merciful, mild, serene, sweet-tempered.

An old-fashioned definition is this: noble or having the qualities attributed to noble birth; courteous; chivalrous. (Think gentleman or gentle-woman.)  I think this is where the “benevolent” aspect of the definition comes into play and it’s definitely related to being daughters of the King!

Looking at these words, I realize that my understanding of gentleness has been limited.  There were some aspects of this concept that I was missing.

As I have prayed for God to reveal His gentleness to me and how I should display that to others in greater ways,  I have seen an increase in what I would call tenderness in my heart, especially toward my husband and children. I have felt more sympathetic and understanding toward the challenges they face as individuals and I am moved to prayer and action in new ways on their behalf.

Interestingly, this increase in gentleness has resulted in changes in my thinking and behavior in other areas. I have found it easier to manifest the other fruit of the Spirit {love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control}.

I certainly haven’t arrived. I’m not suggesting that I have. I just wanted to share a little slice of what God is doing in my heart and hopefully encourage you to seek Him for yourself.

Maybe gentleness isn’t where He’s tugging on your heart. He knows exactly what you need and He’s whispering it to you in a variety of situations. Listen to His voice and follow His leading. His plans for you are good…tailor-made for you. When you move in response to His leading, you will experience blessings beyond what you can ask or think. He has surprises in store for you and accomplishes much more than you can understand at the beginning of that particular part of the journey.

Praying for all of us to hear clearly and move in obedience,