Gentleness Is In Me
Let your gentleness be evident to all. — Philippians 4:5
Thought for the Day: The more I rejoice, the more I keep things in perspective. The more I keep things in perspective, the gentler I become.
Lately, I’ve had this Bible verse chasing me around: “Let your gentleness be evident to all” (Philippians 4:5). I’ve run across this verse in so many unexpected places that I know it’s something God wants me to pay attention to. Why? Let’s just say, when the Lord was handing out the gentleness gene in July of 1969, I was apparently in another line waiting for something else. Lots of people who were being fashioned at the same time did get the gentleness gene. I know some people who I’m sure stood in line twice and got a double portion. Me? Not so much.
Now, I can have moments of gentleness. I can perform acts of gentleness. But gentleness doesn’t ooze from the core of who I am.
This is especially true if I am sleepy or stressed. Honestly, I think I need one of those warning signs on the bedroom door to enter at your own risk after 8:30 p.m.: “DANGER! Please note that the Holy Spirit has temporarily left this woman’s body to go help a sister halfway around the world who is just now waking up.”
Now, I know that is some terrible theology, but I’m being honest, y’all. What little threads of gentleness I do have are not evident past 8:30 p.m. Not. At. All.
And then there is this thing that happens when I get stressed. Normally, I can pull off a little gentleness throughout the day, but throw in a stressful situation where too much is coming at me too quickly and mercy lou! I get task-oriented and start talking in a staccato-like cadence to my people, because I want the stuff around the house done. right. now. not. in. ten. minutes. because. now. means. now!
I don’t want this to be how my kids remember me. Staccato mama.
I don’t want this to be how I remember me in this season of life.
So this Philippians verse that has been nipping at the edges of my heart and mind, about letting my gentleness be evident to all, is something I know I need — even if it does sting a bit.
Here’s a little sermon I’ve been preaching to myself: Let your gentleness be evident to all. The “your” part means I do have some. Much as I’d like to believe otherwise, God didn’t skip over me in distributing the gentleness gene, and my wildfire personality isn’t a divine exception. Regardless of the stress I’m under, I am capable of displaying God’s gentleness because the Holy Spirit is in me. I have the Holy Spirit in me when I feel all chipper at 8:30 a.m., and I have the Holy Spirit in me when I feel grumpy at 8:30 p.m. The Spirit is in me when I feel calm and when I feel stressed. Gentle- ness is in me!
I just have to learn to reclaim the gentleness that is rightfully mine. And I can reclaim it by practicing the one word that appears right before “Let your gentleness be evident to all” (Philippians 4:5). That little word is rejoice:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! — Philippians 4:4
The more my heart is parked in a place of thanksgiving and rejoicing, the less room I have for grumpiness.
My kids are driving me crazy? At least they are healthy enough to have that kind of energy. Don’t miss this chance to rejoice.
My laundry is piled to the ceiling? Every stitch of clothing is evidence of life in my home. Don’t miss this chance to rejoice.
I feel unorganized and behind and late on everything? Scale back, let unrealistic expectations go, and savor some happy moments today. Don’t miss this chance to rejoice.
The more I rejoice, the more I keep things in perspective. The more I keep things in perspective, the gentler I become.
That’s why I have to intentionally seek out perspective-magnifying opportunities. Things like serving at a soup kitchen, delivering gifts to a family in need, or going on a mission trip. If I want the gentleness inside me to be unleashed, I have to break away from my everyday routine. I have to go where perspective awaits me.
Dear Lord, some days I just don’t feel gentle. But I do want to obey Your Word. So right now, I ask You to help me change my perspective and walk in the gentleness You have given me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Excerpted with permission from Unglued Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst, copyright Lysa TerKeurst.
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Is “gentle” a word that you would use to describe yourself? Would others? That’s convicting, isn’t it! The more we rejoice and keep our perspective God-oriented, the more we will produce that fruit of the Spirit. What are you rejoicing over? What are you thankful for today? Come share with us on our blog. We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily