Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gentleness

I've been working on gentleness for about 5 years now. I spent the first 5 years of my marriage (and the first 25 years of my life, really) being a big fat B. Which, of course, stands for brat. ahem. I've spent the past 5 years (yes, that makes me 30. ish.) trying to change, or should I say - trying to submit to God changing me and my not so gentle ways.

It's coming along nicely. Not quickly, but nicely.

Probably the most effective thing I've done to remedy this issue, is posting relevant scriptures where I will see them often. Right now, I have Proverbs 15:1 "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." in my bathroom. I had to go to Bible Gateway to get the reference, but I know that puppy by heart. It has been really helpful. Incidentally, it's in the Proverb of the day that I will be reading before bed. How about that?

I also have Ephesians 4:29 posted on my mirror. "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. " This is obviously more about what comes out of your mouth than how it comes out, but I especially love the part about benefiting those who listen. Not that I have the opportunity to talk to people very often... But still. When I do, I want what I say to be beneficial to them.

Philippians 4:5 "Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near."

The Fruit of the Spirit is... among others, gentleness. Our Pastor said something really cool a couple of weeks ago. Well, honestly he says something cool every time I hear him speak, but a couple weeks ago, it was about the Fruit of the Spirit. He said "The fruit is not for the tree. It's for the person that walks past the tree." I love it when people say profoundly simple things that are so applicable. When I think of that in terms of gentleness, and interacting with people, (especially my husband) it brings a new urgency to my quest for gentleness.

2 Timothy 2:25 says, "those who oppose him, he must gently instruct." Try that one on for size. Not only does the person disagree with you - they are coming against you... How are you (or should I say How am I) to respond? With gentleness.

As hard as it is for me to be gentle with my husband, at times... You know the times, when you are so torqued out of shape that no matter how hard you try you can't get the tone/pitch of your voice to sound like anything this side of a 7 year old girl who just got stung by a bee? Ah, my husband loves that. Actually, not. And can I just say, if I were allergic to bees I'd go broke buying epi-pens, for how often my voice sounds like that. Is it okay to say that he sometimes has it coming? Yeah, I didn't think so. Okay, then I won't say that. ahem. Right - so my point is, it's hard enough to be gentle with the people whom we love the most (who no doubt have the talent for riling us up the best), but we are also commanded to be gentle to all and to those who oppose us.

He doesn't ask much, does He?

And this, dear friends, is why I take very seriously the following advice.

James 1:19 Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

3 comments:

~jen~ said...

aww yes, another good, thought-proviking post. I need some more of that gentleness...I definitely lack it when dealing with some things (especially things that have really angered me).

One more thing for me to pray about...I've never been much of a meek, gentle, or quiet person...this will be a very hard transformation.

Dayfamilyof4 said...

I'm writing these scriptures down right now... thank you so much for pointing them out!

Rina said...

If you're interested, I've just tagged you in a "25 random things about me" post.
(http://intostillwaters.com/2009/01/25/tagged/)
Please don't feel obligated, I just thought it might be fun. :)
Rina