When ‘gentle’ doesn’t feel like a compliment


Numerous times I’ve heard that word used to describe me. It was always meant as a compliment, but somehow I was unable to receive it. To me, gentle was just another word for soft, weak, or pushover. I didn’t want to be soft or weak or a pushover. I wanted to be strong, confident, assured.

I’ve wondered why gentleness is included as a gift of the Spirit (see Galations 5:22-23), and why the Bible encourages us to pursue gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11), to clothe ourselves in gentleness (Colossians 3:12), and to let our gentleness be evident to all (1 Peter 3:15).

And then I am reminded that a gentle answer deflects anger (Proverbs 15:1) and that a gentle tongue can break a bone (Proverbs 25:15).

Break a bone? That’s some metaphor. And I was worried about gentleness being weak?

There is power in gentleness.

And tonight I am reminded once again that there is power in gentleness because God is gentle.* He is kind and tolerant and patient.

That’s gentleness.

So I choose to embrace gentleness, grateful that God’s character is being shaped in me.

* Thank you to Sarah Siders. Check out her post here.