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.
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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.
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