Does gentleness come naturally to you? Most likely not. Gentleness and selfishness do not work well together. As humans, everything about us wants to focus on self — our needs, our wants, our desires. We protect our interests. We look out for number one.
Selfish people are rarely gentle people.
If you are a Christ-follower, did you know you’ve been commanded to be gentle? It’s straight from Paul’s letter to the Philippian church:
“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:5).
Gentleness is more than kindness, though it is hard (if not impossible) to be gentle without being kind.
Gentleness is more than a tone-of-voice, though it certainly includes the manner in which you address other people.
In the biblical sense, gentleness is a willingness to not demand your rights in a given situation. A gentle person does not have to go around always insisting they are right — even if they are, in fact, right. While not ignoring justice, a gentle person will see both the letter and spirit of the law.
In this way, a gentle spirit is a considerate spirit. It considers the other person. It considers the circumstances. It considers the greater good.
A gentle, considerate spirit isn’t driven by a desire to be right or to win. It is driven by a desire to honor God.
Gentleness is not a natural reflex. It must be cultivated by prayer, the Word, and the Holy Spirit. But it can be done. In fact, it must be done.
Imagine what a great gift the church could give the world if individual Christ-followers took seriously the challenge to be gentle!