Unnaturally Gentle – What Our World Needs Now

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Gentleness. The mere reading of the word brings a hint of conviction to me. This is not something that comes naturally for me. In fact, I’ve never heard anyone say, “That Kendra, she’s so gentle,” or “She’s so sweet.” HA!

I love those people from whom gentleness just oozes, especially alongside the overlapping fruit of patience. BUT—that is OK because it is not the fruit of Kendra … it’s the fruit of the SPIRIT. As Galatians 5:22 states, “The HOLY SPIRIT produces this kind of fruit in our lives” (emphasis added). And even when gentleness doesn’t come naturally, it is something we can attain by the power of and surrender to the Holy Spirit. That gives hope to people like me.

One area in which we can display gentleness is in our speech. (Again, it’s ironic that I’m writing this for today because it’s definitely an area where I have some room for growth.) I have always revered those parents who respond to their crazy-acting kiddos in a gentle tone. Tone matters. How we say things matters. And by extension, how we type things (ie. social media, text messages) matters too. Body language can also help to communicate gentleness … or not.

Proverbs 15:1 reminds us that “a gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” Has anyone else made matters worse because you didn’t follow the wisdom in this verse? No, just me? [Didn’t think so. 🙂 ] What do we do when a gentle answer doesn’t come naturally to us? Is it up to us? On one hand, yes, it is up to us to call on the Lord for his help in those moments. The Holy Spirit, who is the ONE who produces this fruit of the Spirit, will give us power in those areas that don’t come naturally to us.

In all things, we strive to honor God in our lives, so let’s aim to honor him with gentleness. In our homes, in our relationships, in our workplaces, on social media, with friends, and even with strangers—let’s walk in the fruit of the Holy Spirit of gentleness. We can be gentle as he has been gentle with us.

James 3:17-18
17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, GENTLE at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. (Emphasis added.)

Questions:
Are you like me in that gentleness doesn’t come naturally? Or is there another fruit of the Spirit that trips you up a little more than the others? What are some steps you can take to be more gentle?

Next Steps:
In moments of chaos or tension, take a breath. Whisper a prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to help you respond with gentleness. Seek forgiveness in areas where (or from people with whom) you’ve blown it recently. God can give us courage and strength for that as well.

Prayer:
God, you know this is an area of weakness for me, but thankfully, it doesn’t depend on me. Help me to seek you in those moments of chaos and tension. Remind me to take a deep breath and dig deep from the power that you offer me to walk in your fruit of gentleness. Help me to be a deflector of anger with the gentleness that you work in me. Forgive me when I try to do it on my own and mess things up. Thank you for your grace to try again. And thank you for your faithfulness to not leave me the same as I was yesterday, but fill me with the hope that, tomorrow, I can be more like you because of you. Amen.


This post was written by Kendra Grubinski. Kendra is passionate about her relationship with Jesus and loves studying and sharing God’s Word. During the week, she is a Spanish Teacher at Findlay High School. She also enjoys spending time with her family and pups, reading, traveling, drinking good coffee and being active outdoors.


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2 replies
  1. Julie Estep
    Julie Estep says:

    Thanks Kendra! I appreciate your honesty. I have a tendency to be sarcastic or use humor when I’m trying to say the “hard” things gently. It doesn’t always work out for me. Praying for the Spirit to work in me is a much better approach!

  2. Carol Shull
    Carol Shull says:

    Wow! this LIO really hit home with me. Thank you. I know my words come out harsh, but I don’t intend them to be. I pray that God will help me in this area of my life.

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