Here are some ways you can strive to be more gentle:
- Ask the Holy Spirit to create a gentle spirit within you and make you sensitive to others' feelings and concerns.
- When talking, strive to encourage people with your words. Guard against speaking in harsh ways that may hurt people. Pray for discernment about how to speak the truth in loving ways.
- Think of ways you can illustrate the gospel message through simply living it out in every aspect of your life. Try to let non-Christians see Christ's light shining through the loving gentleness of your actions.
- Ask God to give you His wisdom and knowledge about how to approach every situation you encounter.
- Confess any bitterness you may have in your heart, and any selfish ambition you may be harboring. Ask God to replace these things with His gentleness.
- Turn your thought life over to Christ. When you find yourself thinking thoughts that don't glorify Him, pray for the Holy Spirit to renew your mind.
- Embrace God's deep love for you, and remember that God loves every person He has made. Since people are made in God's image, you should respect their dignity by interacting gently with them.
- Understand that whatever abilities you have come from God. Be humble and remember God's grace in your life.
Adapted from Gentleness: The Strength of Being Tender from the Fruit of the Spirit Bible Studies, copyright 2001 by Phyllis J. Le Peau. Published by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.BibleStudyGuides.com, 1-800-727-3480.
Phyllis J. Le Peau is area director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Chicago West.