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Does gentleness come naturally to you?  Most likely not.  Gentleness and selfishness do not work well together.  As humans, everything about us wants to focus on self — our needs, our wants, our desires.  We protect our interests.  We look out for number one.

Selfish people are rarely gentle people.

If you are a Christ-follower, did you know you’ve been commanded to be gentle?  It’s straight from Paul’s letter to the Philippian church:

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:5).

Gentleness is more than kindness, though it is hard (if not impossible) to be gentle without being kind.

Gentleness is more than a tone-of-voice, though it certainly includes the manner in which you address other people.

In the biblical sense, gentleness is a willingness to not demand your rights in a given situation.  A gentle person does not have to go around always insisting they are right — even if they are, in fact, right.  While not ignoring justice, a gentle person will see both the letter and spirit of the law.

In this way, a gentle spirit is a considerate spirit.  It considers the other person.  It considers the circumstances.  It considers the greater good.

A gentle, considerate spirit isn’t driven by a desire to be right or to win.  It is driven by a desire to honor God.

Gentleness is not a natural reflex.  It must be cultivated by prayer, the Word, and the Holy Spirit.  But it can be done.  In fact, it must be done.

Imagine what a great gift the church could give the world if individual Christ-followers took seriously the challenge to be gentle!