Gift of Gentleness and Learning to be a Gentle Person
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Philippians 4: 5
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3
What is gentleness?
We use the word "gentle" to describe many things. The rain, wind, waves, and even music are often described as gentle. A touch can be gentle, and so can the sound of one's voice. Even movement can be gentle. But what about people?
A gentleman, according to the dictionary, is a man who is courteous or mannerly. A gentlewoman comes from a good family or superior social position. Yet, a gentleman or gentlewoman doesn't necessarli have to possess the trait of gentleness.
The peaceful beauty of a Lake victoria on a calm sunny day , when the winds are not blowing reminds us of gentleness.
I think gentleness is intertwined with kindness. If you are gentle, you are calm. Gentleness is a quality that comes from the heart and soul. Truly gentle people give of themselves, and they empathize with others. They establish peace.
Some associate gentleness with passivity and weakness. Not true! Actually gentle people are quite strong because they know how to remain calm and show restraint. When a gentle person becomes angry or frustrated, they keep emotions in check and control their reactions. They do not rage at others, rather they remain composed.
Why gentleness is good. Gentleness calms people and decreases chaos. The result is less stress for everyone. Consider the following example. A teacher is trying to settle a class down so they can get back to the business of learning. In the classroom, there is much noise and chaos. Students are leaving their seatings and talking way too much for any learning to occur. The teacher could choose to yell over the noise of the students, or argue with them. Instead the teacher tells the students in a nuetral tone, "I'm ready to teach when you're ready to learn" and sits down to grade papers. Nut surprisingly, the students settle down, and the teacher continues the lesson. The teacher chose to handle the class in a gentle manner, and the class responded positively. The class felt less stressed and continued on with their daily activities.
Two reasons why gentleness was the right strategy: The amount of stress on students decreased, and the teacher also taught her class how to respond in a gentle manner. The teacher did not demand or threaten students. Learning to be gentle is an important skill we all need to practice.
How we can be gentle
1- Think before you react or respond. People react too quickly to situations without taking time to think about how reactions and responses affect others.
2- React in a calm manner. Sometimes actions appear threatening to others. Fold your arms or keep your arms at your sides and avoid appearing threatening. Also, talk quietly in a normal speaking voice. Screaming only escalates a situation.
3-Learn to empathize with others. If you can learn to imagine what it's like to walk in another's shoes, you can better understand that person and respond to them in a gentle way.
4-Respond with kindness. Avoid negativity, and think about ways to make a situation better. Don't worry about being right; instead focus on what you can to do to help others, and, in turn, they will help you.
Being gentle is something you must work at, and it does not come easy. Some of the strongest people I have known have been very gentle, and through their actions they have shown others how to be kind. Gentleness is reflected in how you treat others. Try to respond to others in a gentle and loving way.