“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2
So, I’m trudging through this verse for this year. I know it’s not supposed to be “trudging,” or difficult, but this is not easy so I am trying to remain disciplined to tackle these things in my life. I also know that it is a process. There is no end point to check things off the list. These are continual, growing, stretching things in my life that I should never stop working on.
This “verse of the year” thing is difficult but necessary.
What does it mean to be gentle?
I always like to check in with the good old Dictionary for a starting place so here it is:
(of a person) mild in temperament or behavior; kind or tender.
Moderate in action, effect, or degree; not harsh or severe
Synomyms: kind, tender, sympathetic, considerate, understanding, compassionate, benevolent, good-natured; merciful, sweet-tempered.
The opposite of brutal.
Well, as I’ve mentioned before my family is funny and sometimes brutally funny. Sometimes you have to make a choice to go for the punchline or bite your tongue to save someone’s feelings. I know my kids deal with this as do I.
To be deliberately gentle, kind and thoughtful is not easy. Nothing worth having is easy. God is asking me to be gentle. How does this look in my day to day life?
I think it means to be intentional in each and every interaction with the people around us. I think it means to be aware. It means I have to be a better listener. I can’t be stuck in my own thoughts and obliviously to the world around me.
When I think of gentle being the opposite of brutal I feel like I’m no where near brutal. But, I’m supposed to be gentle in my thoughts, in my responses, in my attitudes…maybe I’m occasionally very close to “brutal.”
I will be praying for a gentle spirit. I knew this wouldn’t be easy but I do believe God will help me apply this verse to my life. Here’s to being gentle!