Gentleness – the Lenten Journey

Gentleness is the eighth fruit of the Spirit.

What comes to mind when I think of gentleness is Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Gentleness is the opposite of wrath.

I have a problem with wrath, or anger. I have that Arian fiery temper. I have been known to go on a tirade where I fling profanity as often as I hurl objects. Those objects have included plastic cups, shoes, papers, clothing, and even a bag of chips across the backyard. I have a problem with anger.

The remedy to anger is a willingness to turn to God first for the power of that Holy Spirit to land squarely across my head like a bucket of water extinguishing my wrath. I have mellowed over the years and anger is a flame that takes longer to ignite and fan. I reach more for Gentleness than anger. Anger never leads to a positive outcome. The short term outcome maybe relief, but quite often relationships suffer in the path of wrathful destruction, hence the warning of proverbs.

The other phrase that has gained ground in my life is “You catch more bees with honey.” I am learning to use honey more than my quick, sarcastic wit and my aggressiveness.

I have two major aspects working against me. I am an Aries, fiery temper, and I am Eastern European, fiery temper. I can be abrasive, rude, demanding, inconsiderate and loud. These negative attributes are quite often exhibited unintentionally. I don’t mean to be that way. A fellow Christian might say it is my sinful nature. I would agree. They are definitely not part of my good qualities list.

Yet, if I choose to turn to God first before my mouth and hands run away with my anger, I often find a gentler way of approaching a frustrating situation. If I see God first, I often react in a more positive and nurturing way. This is the power of the Spirit in terms of Gentleness. Jesus demonstrated gentleness in so many of his interactions, but he also exhibited righteous anger. That is a fine line. One in which I am not able to guide anyone, including myself. That is why I continue this journey of seeking God’s will and being open to his fruits of the Spirit. Those fruits always bear the greatest of outcomes.

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