“The spiritual nature produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22,23).
What’s your reaction . . .
. . . if your coach yells at you for dropping the ball?
. . . if your parents yell at you for a bad grade on a test?
. . . if your friend yells at you for sharing her secret?
When people get angry or yell or shout, our natural reaction is to get defensive, because that’s what a sinful nature does. It immediately comes up with reasons why your mistake isn’t your fault: the pass was bad or you had so many chores that you had no time to study or she should have told you that you couldn’t tell anybody.
When people react calmly and gently, your reaction changes, doesn’t it? If your coach puts his arm around you or if your parents give you that horrible disappointed face or if you see the tears on your friend’s face because of your betrayal, that’s when you feel the weight of your mistake.
This is one of the reasons that the Holy Spirit wants you to produce gentleness. If you are trying to tell people about their Savior, yelling at them, calling them names, or putting them down for their horrible decisions isn’t going to help them believe that God’s family is a great thing to be a part of. That’s why God tells you to “be gentle in correcting those who oppose the Good News. Maybe God will allow them to change the way they think and act and lead them to know the truth” (2 Timothy 2:25).
Your gentleness is one way that people can learn about God’s truth, love, and mercy. Isn’t that amazing!