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Friday, March 10, 2017

A Lenten Healing: 40 Graces for Forgiveness (Day 9: Gentleness)

Day 9: Gentleness
What is this ‘gentleness’ of which you speak?
Really, gentleness is not something to which I ever aspired until I encountered it as a directive in the Bible, and even then I wondered why on earth anyone might want to be such a thing.
I valued competence, competitiveness, strength, wit, and independence. Gentleness was for suckers who couldn’t take care of themselves out in the big, bad world.
Once I had the pleasure of getting to know a truly gentle person. Haruhi, the office manager for the high school foreign language department where I worked in Japan, possessed the most gentle spirit I’ve ever encountered. She genuinely cared for all other living things. I never heard her speak a harsh word, and I doubt she ever even thought one. She embodied the phrase, “wouldn’t hurt a fly”. (Seriously, she trapped and released critters that I would’ve assassinated with violence just for the offense of trespassing on my personal space.)
I’m seeing a trend with these fruits of the Spirit. Practicing them would prevent a lot of offense that might create a need for repentance and forgiveness.
Practicing them would also cultivate in me a more forgiving spirit. A gentle person concerns herself with not harming others. Were I gentle, forgiveness would probably be a foregone conclusion to any personal offense.
Yeah. I’m going to need to keep working on this one, too.

* * *
I… urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
-Ephesians 4:1-3

* * *

Thank you, God, for all the work you’ve done to finally convince me that gentleness is a good thing, and that it’s a characteristic I actually want to possess. I’m afraid I still have a long way to go before anyone would call me gentle, however. Help me to practice gentleness today in every encounter with other people. Remind me moment by moment that my goal is to protect and care for the feelings and needs of others, to do no harm. Thank you for how gentle you always are with me. You’re a really good role model.

40 Graces for Forgiveness: a Healing Journey is now available in print. $6.49 at

With questions for personal meditation and space for journaling, this 40-day devotional series offers a deeper look at Christ's command that we forgive. For a personal pilgrimage, or as a resource for group Bible study,40 Graces for Forgiveness: a Healing Journey invites seekers of forgiveness and healing to the path on which God longs to meet us all. $6.49 at Find out more about 40 Graces for Forgiveness: a Healing Journey.

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