Be gentle (1)
The Greek word used for gentleness means ‘strength under control’. It paints a picture of a wild horse that has been tamed through love and kindness. It doesn’t mean being weak and wimpy. The only two people in the Bible who were called gentle – Moses and Jesus – were both strong. Gentleness is restraining our reactions. It’s choosing our response to people rather than just reacting to them. For the next few days, let’s look at what it means to be gentle. First, when someone serves us, we should be thoughtful and not demanding. Paul wrote, ‘Don’t just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and in what they are doing’ (Philippians 2:4 TLB). The way we treat the servers in a coffee shop, receptionists, customer service assistants, bank clerks, police officers, and others who serve us can say a lot about us. Some people might be rude and difficult with them, or treat them as if they’re just machines without feelings, never thinking that the people serving them may have had a tough day, but only thinking of themselves and their needs. In order to develop gentleness, we should start by trying to understand the people who serve us. One of the places we can forget to show gentleness is at home. We might be the gentlest and most thoughtful people in the world to others, but become insensitive or unthinking towards those we live with. But the Bible says we must ‘show a gentle attitude toward everyone.’ No exceptions. Not just when we’re having a good day, or when we feel like it. We must be understanding, not demanding, towards the people we live with as well as the people who serve us. So today, let’s practise being gentle with everyone we meet.
Take a photo of something that makes you think of gentleness. Add the words of Philippians 4:5 to it, then make it the lock screen or background on your phone – a regular reminder to always show gentleness to everyone!
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