Being gentle can be challenging at times, especially when it comes to the people you are close with, like your family. I know for myself I am less gentle at times when it comes to my parents and siblings.
There was a time in my life when I gave into my emotions. Instead of being gentle and loving to my youngest brother, I would sometimes ask him to do things for me. But there was this one instance when he refused that infuriated me. Instead of doing what I asked him, he responded with, “Why don’t you do it yourself? Why are you asking me to do it?” I called his name numerous times, only to get the same response. I got so angry while he sat watching TV in the living room, that I approached him and (without hesitation) kicked the TV. I grabbed him by his shirt and will never forget the look on his face. He got so scared because I looked like I was about to hurt him, but thank God, I didn’t.
Gentleness is a fruit that is being produced through the work of the Holy Spirit as we abide in Christ and remain in God’s Word. Being gentle is not easy, especially when one’s temperament is being tested. It’s easy to give in to our emotions or to anger, but it will only produce pain and hurt towards other people. It will not resolve problems and most of the time it will make things worse.
Gentleness is not the normal reaction when things are not going our way, however, it changes things. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Gentleness can make a tremendous impact in a person’s life compared to an angry or irritated response. It can build relationships and it can change lives.
Jesus himself is our example. He is gentle and humble in heart; thus, we can come to Him and rest (Matt. 11:28-30). If God is gentle towards us and is slow to anger every time we make mistakes and sin against Him, then we should also be gentle and loving towards others, for we ourselves are not deserving of such love and gentleness.
Praise God, because He restores relationships. After what happened between my brother and I, the Lord convicted me of what I had done. I went to my brother right away and asked for forgiveness. I knew I had an anger problem and by God’s grace I surrendered it to the Lord that day. He has changed me ever since and is continually working in my heart. I have seen myself grow in gentleness and love towards others and my family.
The Holy Spirit will change us and produce in us His fruit as we continue to allow Him to work into our lives and as we seek God’s word.