I lived with my grandma during a college internship. She let me borrow her car when mine was in the shop. I returned home that evening and thought I would scare her a bit. I joked, “Your car really shakes when it gets to 95 miles per hour.” She calmly said, “I know, honey, it does that to me too.”
I wasn’t sure if she didn’t hear me correctly or was just quick with a response to a crazy comment. But I’ve always remembered her gentleness.
In the movie Savannah Smiles, two small-time criminals stole a car, not realizing a little girl was in the back. Over the course of the movie, their gentleness toward her was evident. At the end of the movie, as they were being carted away to jail, they wanted the best for her and hoped she never found out who they really were.
Gentleness is a characteristic that God wants us to cultivate. Here are things gentleness does.
Changes Our Appearance
Gentleness brightens a person’s face and gives a softer appearance. The more gentle you are with others, the more you are able to smile, speak softly, and keep your cool. Gentle words and actions allow your eyes to remain bright and cheery. As other emotions well up, your face will respond accordingly. While that’s fine for important moments, gentleness is a better day-to-day default.
Marriage is a unique place of completeness. No other relationship mirrors the communion of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit like marriage. This closeness brings about opportunities to practice gentleness. Behavior like “gentle answers turning away wrath” is crucial for a home filled with joy and peace. Scripture also teaches us to “let our gentleness be evident to all.” We often let our guard down with those closest to us, but gentle words and actions will improve your marriage.
Gentleness will always win a child over. Parenting in gentle ways reduces anxiety. Gentle people learn to deal with anxiety by responding with a calmer approach and don’t have to worry about as many issues as people who live like a bull in a china closet. I think this is one benefit to having a grandparent connection – grandparents can be gentle without the major obligation of discipline. When parents are gentle with their children through structure, discipline, and the daily schedule, doors may open that will never otherwise open. Dads especially need to be gentle. Gentle words and tone can have a major impact. (Ephesians 6:4)
Gets Things Done
The tongue has power. When we speak gentle words with a gentle attitude, we are able to persuade, empathize, understand, and live in a strength that is beyond comprehension. Gentleness has benefits in relationships, work, business, and in the home. After exhausting other possibilities, we may resort to a more gentle approach and find that it works. Why not begin there and see how effective it truly is?
This blog post was inspired by a great book I’m reading called Worry Less, Live More: God’s Prescription for a Better Life by Robert J. Morgan. I highly recommend this book!
Let your gentleness be evident to all…Phil. 4:5