Feeling Fruity: Gentleness

Galatians 5:22 Says But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Have you ever heard someone say something so stupid and wrong that it’s like they are asking for immediate correction? Maybe it’s a misguided political opinion or their vote for favorite “Golden Girl” doesn’t match with your own choice.  You are so sure of your own opinions and answers that you make it a mission to correct your uninformed opponent. Because you are RIGHT, you just have to jump in to prove them wrong. Your goal is to ultimately get them to AGREE with you by any means necessary. Guess what? It is not going to happen.

Proverbs 15:1 says “a gentle answer turns away wrath.” I would bet that when you’re responding to these stupid, wrong, disagreeable statements, that you are not giving a gentle answer. The less gentle we are, the less gentle others will be. So many arguments start and grow from the simple fact that both parties want to prove that they are right. I am certainly guilty of this, and it usually almost always back fires. There are times when I am unequivocally correct.  I even have proof from multiple sources accredited by the source of all sources, Google.  Truthfully, it really doesn’t matter how “right” I am if I leave a trail of hurting people in my wake.

As Christians we sometimes have the reputation of being harsh and quick to think we are right without considering the other party’s side. We can be judgmental. The second part of Proverbs 15:1 says “a harsh word stirs up anger.” As Christians, it is our duty to show the love of Jesus. It is not our job to correct others or our right to judge them. Jesus is not judgmental and sanctimonious and He definitely does not want us to be. We all know the feeling of being judged and criticized.  It’s never fun. Our words should always be constructive; never destructive. 

Being Christ-like requires us to understand that He is not staring down with a critical eye, waiting for you to mess up. In fact, He is constantly giving us GENTLE correction and guidance through the Holy Spirit. What if we tried to be more like that? If we see something in someone’s life worth speaking to, let’s pray for guidance on what to say and pray that God will let us know if it’s us that needs to do the speaking. Let us say whatever needs to be said in a gentle way that builds up others instead putting them down. Being right does not equate to being effective.  

By the way, Sophia is the best “Golden Girl.”

 

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