I had the pleasure of leading the discussion on “Gentleness” this week. Gentleness is not weakness, but a Fruit of the Spirit in which we choose to place the will of God before our own. Like a strong stallion that has been trained and taught discipline, the stallion keeps all of his strength, but operates under the control of his master.
Sometimes it is our tendency to use our strength or advantages to belittle or supercede others. In Gentleness, we use our strength to help others instead of trying to be superior to them. In this, Gentleness stems from a spirit of real love for the individual and compassion for their well being. It is not only in our actions, but also in our thoughts.
Proverbs 15:1 states, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” We must remember that our words are very powerful, and that we must think before we speak, because you can’t take back a word after it is spoken.
God wants us to be Gentle in our thoughts and actions, so that when are ready and he gives us power, we will not use it cruelly. As in John 8:1-11, the woman is caught in the act of adultery. Instead of casting the first stone, accusing her or chastising her, Jesus takes the opportunity to elevate her life by telling her to, “Go and sin no more.”
God is Gentle with us when we need correction, and expects us to be that way towards others. Gentleness shows the world that violent encounters and situations ruled by emotions is not the better way. The Fruit of Gentleness calls us to be surrendered to the will of God.
One of my favorite quotes is, “People don’t always remember what you say or did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”
In these last nine days working with these nine great and unique folks, we definitely had challenges and our ups and downs. But I must say, I witnessed many acts and thoughts of Gentleness in each person, and on every day. I am grateful for the experience. Thank you to all of my friends and donors who made this possible! Thank you for your support and Gentleness.
El Salvador - Nov 2016