Strength in Gentleness

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What steps can you take today to replace an attitude of "toughness" with a heart of true gentleness?

Let your gentleness be known to all. Philippians 4:5

I've heard it said that words hurt like punches. When I (David) first heard that said, I felt regret because I realized how many "punches" I have hit Teresa with over the years when I spoke mean or insensitive words. I have thrown many a sarcastic remark or underhanded insult her way. The words I spoke weren't true, and I didn't mean them, but they were like punches nevertheless.

I don't want to be known for mistreating my wife. I don't want to be known for venting my anger at Teresa or for hurting her with my angry words. I want to be known for my integrity, giftedness, character, and achievements. I want to be known for gentleness.

It's difficult to be known for gentleness in today's world, as I often feel the pressure to be aggressive in order to succeed. I often sense society's message that I need to be tough, hard-nosed, and never let "them" see my weakness. And I know that many today see gentleness as a sign of weakness.

What a contrast that is to what the Word of God says! Christ Him-self was described as gentle, yet I can think of no mightier man in history. Jesus told us that He was "humble in spire yet I can think of no one with more strength. The apostle Paul appealed to the church in Corinth "by the meekness and gentleness of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:1), yet he was well known for his boldness and strength for the cause of Jesus. Second Timothy 2:24-25 tells us that church leaders ought to exhibit gentleness and Christ-like consideration for others.
Obviously, in God's kingdom real power comes in displaying gentleness of heart.

What steps can you take today to replace an attitude of "toughness" with a heart of true gentleness?

God, remind me that gentleness is a trait of the One who displayed ultimate courage. Let me be known for that kind of gentleness.

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