“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” ~ Saint Francis de Sales

There is something both fascinating and appealing about the mixture of strength and gentleness. The mighty warrior who comforts and protects the weak. The miracle-working rabbi who invites children to come near. (It’s a far cry from history’s and Hollywood’s power-hungry tyrant smashing everyone in their path.)

This week’s character quality is gentleness. Or showing consideration and personal concern for others instead of being harsh. Gentleness flows from a heart filled with love, a heart being transformed from the inside out by the power of the Holy Spirit. (For more discussion, see last year’s Be Like a Tree series where I spent a week on the Fruit of Gentleness.)

Since one of my goals this year is to focus on relationships, especially those within my home, a little gentleness would go a long way. For example, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1 NKJV) When I need to confront a teenager about cell phone usage or a Facebook post, showing consideration and concern is a much better approach than storming the gates with a battering ram of “I’m the parent” authority.

Being gentle requires self-control under provocation, especially since teens, er, people can push our buttons! It’s turning the other cheek and biting my tongue.

If only they would show the same consideration and concern for me.

What about you? Why is it easier to be gentle some times or with some people and not with others? Who should be gentle first? Why?

Character Matters – Gentleness
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