January 13, 2015

Gentle Not Harsh

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 13, 2015

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. Proverbs 15:4, ESV

When I am exhausted or feeling overwhelmed, I am much more susceptible to sin. If things do not go my way I can be grumpy, and worse, demanding with my words. So at work and home, I have to watch myself and make sure I don’t take out my fears and frustrations with harsh words like: “You really don’t care or understand” or “You never think or plan ahead” or “You always disagree with me”. These words spewed in anger only aggravate the situation and agitate people. A much better approach is for me to pause, be quiet, pray and speak from a Spirit- led gentleness.

Solomon prescribes gentleness as an antidote to anger that gives life not death. A calm conversation contributes to healing, avoiding hurt. Its words that build up a person’s spirit rather than breaking it. Kind and tender speech offers hope, understanding and acceptance. Thus a gentle tongue communicates like this: “I am afraid of the future, I need your prayers” or “How can I help you accomplish what needs to get done today?” or “Thanks for helping me think through this issue, I need your wisdom.” Gentleness expresses itself with humble honesty.

“By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you” (2 Corinthians 10:1).

You may ask, “How can I increase my gentle words and decrease my harsh words?” The genesis  of gentleness is Jesus. Start by submitting to your Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. Confess the inability to produce a gentle spirt without the Holy Spirit’s intervention. Indeed, gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Moreover, become a student of those whose heart is bent toward becoming gentle like Jesus. Learn their skill of applying words of comfort and truth as a tourniquet for those who suffer lesions inflicted by lies. Your gentle tongue is life giving.

Furthermore, we grow in gentleness as we grow in grace. Grace is the engine that powers a gentle heart. Gracious words are the fruit of a life rooted in God. Feel the heart of an old Shaker song from 1867 as our country was healing from war’s harshness: “What the dew is to the flower, Gentle words are to the soul, And a blessing to the giver, And so dear to the receiver, We should never withhold. Gentle words, kindly spoken, Often soothe the troubled mind, While links of love are broken By words that are unkind. Then O, thou gentle spirit, My constant Guardian be, “Do to others,” be my motto, “As I’d have them do to me.” Amen, let’s grow more gentle!

“Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:4).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my heart in gentleness by Your grace and love.

Related Readings: 1 Kings 19:12; Proverbs 25:15; Matthew 11:29; 1 Corinthians 4:21; 1 Peter 3:15

Post/Tweet this today: Apply words of comfort and truth, as a tourniquet for those who suffer  lesions inflicted by lies. #gentlenotharsh #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: 5 minute music video- Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePPOaX6HTPI

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Comments

  1. Debra Mostue says:

    I appreciate you!

    I look forward to my morning devotional each day.

    I really needed this one. Thank you!

    I pray that I can learn to be gentle and more Christ like.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Debra~
      Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us with your comments after reading “Gentle Not Harsh”. It was such a wonderful reminder of one of the “fruits” or gifts freely given to us when we ask the Holy Spirit to help us with our “humanness”. I, too, can honestly say, I cannot speak with a gentleness many times without the help of the Holy Spirit.
      I found the suggestion that Boyd made in the devotional, “A much better approach is for me to pause, be quiet, PRAY and speak from a Spirit-led gentleness” very helpful! Pause, Be Quiet, and Pray.
      Thank you again Debra, for your encouragement. We always enjoy hearing from our Wisdom Hunter’s family.
      Blessings to you and yours this new year.
      Gwynne
      “He must become greater, I must become less.” John 3:30


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