Reflections and Poetry

Seeking Gentleness: a reflection

My Plea: Gentleness, Please!

The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience, self control… (Galatians 5:22)

This week I am searching for gentleness.

“LORD,” I cry out, “I need to grow in gentleness.”

Yesterday, I was convicted of my negative reaction to situations I don’t like.

I sought the Lord and surrendered my temper to Him, because I do have a temper that is often too easily triggered and not so easily abated.

And today, I realised, in order to let my temper go, something else needs to fill the void. I can’t just “stop getting cross or impatient”; rather, I need an alternative response.

This morning as I was spending time in prayer I realised: I yearn for gentleness. Gentleness will cover me when my anger is triggered, and gentleness is an alternate response to unlikeable circumstances.

Do I hear in my voice a bit more softness? I seek the Lord’s help and covering, because I’m making a commitment to choose a better way to respond. It’s one thing to surrender an attribute, to confess and repent. But it’s another to relinquish it entirely. For that, I need to make a conscious choice, and allow some other response to take it’s place.

When the demons flee from Legion, he is thankful and is filled with peace. (Mark 5). This temper of mine is not the same as being demon possessed but it does also call for a change.

When there is empty space, something will fill it.

If I want my temperament to change, I need to replace explosion with something else. For me that something else will be, by God’s grace, gentleness.

Pick a fruit?

For me, that is the way forward. More of Him and less of me; that’s the transformation I desire.

And so I begin with realisation and repentance. Then in prayer I make a commitment and ask for His help. And when temptation comes, I make the choice to respond in a new way to frustration.

I choose to respond with gentleness. And for that insight and hope, I am extremely grateful.