Thursday, February 12, 2009
Is Your Gentleness Evident ?
We all need a gentle side and many of the experts on life consider gentleness is one of the greatest strengths there is. It does take strength to be gentle in times of conflict or in the heat of an argument. Personal strength that can gain victory over the ego's need to be right takes a lot. It is in gentleness that we bind our children to us, not in the grouchy, snappy, demanding moments. Its not a strong arm that binds us to another with love. It takes patience to be gentle and it takes energy to be gentle and work through things, especially when raising children. I see that now with how Melanie and Casi are raising Mei-Ling. they don't sit on the sofa and yell at her to stop or keep saying "no" while not even looking at her. They patiently and with profound gentleness, go to her side, instruct her. There is no strong-arming her, no grabbing in anger when she doesn't behave. No need to slap her. They are leading her, as a shepherd leads even the smallest of his lambs. Not by hitting with his staff, but by guidance and tenderness. There is no fear in Mei-Ling of her parents, no flinching when they get up to correct a situation. I think this is how Jesus is with me. I don't have to fear him or hear him yell at me. He is tender and gentle and we are to be like Him if we are his followers. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10: 1"By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you." Not once has God hit me with a bolt of lightening or hit me with a big stick when I do something wrong. But I do hear that small still voice, letting me know I have done wrong. And just like with Melanie and Casi training Mei-Ling there are consequences of our actions. If Mei-Ling throws a toy, they tell her that is wrong in a gentle tone, give one chance and if she does it again, it is taken away. It is simple. There is no hundreds of "if you do that again," idle threats. And what a well behaved wee one she is. Saying "no" to her usually takes care of the problem.
As a woman, as a person, as a mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, aunt, friend and wife, is my gentleness evident in all that I do ? Oh by all means I fall short ! I am a work in progress but very willing to admit that it is a work and I must continue to check myself daily, hourly.
In order to reflect what I strive to be as a human, I want to become more of what I believe in. To have that old saying, "we tend to become like that which we love" show in my actions that I love the teachings of Christ. We don't loose our personality in this way of life, we are still who we are, but our goals are gentle along with our actions. Gentleness is beautiful. We admire it in so many things and in those that have it. We often use the meek and gentle that went before us as "hero's" and admire their gentle humble actions. I want gentleness to be what I am, at all times. At the stop sign, at the line in the store, asking for assistance from a store clerk, with my husband, with my children, with my father, my sisters, my niece, my in laws, the not so friendly neighbors, to slow pokes on the road, the homeless, the unlovable, the confrontational ones, and in all my actions and my words !
Philippians 4: 5 "Let your gentleness be evident to all."
Colossians 3:12 "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."
1 Timothy 6:11 Paul's Charge to Timothy "But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness."
It is a silent sort of morning, sitting next to the wood stove in my rocker, watching the birds outside my windo...