Being gentle, like many other things, starts with a conscious choice. Maybe it comes naturally to you now, after years of caring for your kids or family, or pets, but for many people being gentle is a rather foreign concept. Which can be understandable. We’ve all been hurt before and it can be much easier to be standoffish, distant, cold or harsh rather than feeling vulnerable if we put ourselves out there being kind and caring. But this month I’ve been learning that gentle doesn’t mean being a pushover or not able to take care of yourself.
If we think about the example of parents of a newborn baby, you know that they are very careful with the new and precious life while still making sure that despite all protests that little life is cared for, fed, bathed and protected. Parents who truly love their baby don’t leave it alone, don’t ignore needs and don’t get rough around the baby.
Another example is God. It may not have always seemed that way to you, but God manages to be caring, strong, decisive and loving all when necessary. Throughout the Bible there are lots of examples of God standing up for His chosen people during various battles, loving and caring for people in the most amazing ways (crossing the Red Sea, Nebuchadnezzar and the fiery furnace), and forgiving countless people when He could have washed His hands of us or chosen to be an absentee God.
So don’t be deceived when it comes to gentleness. As much as it’s about light touches and love, those things are only there because we care.
“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” James 3:17