Series: Seasonal Attitudes To Have All Year Long
We have been looking at seasonal attitudes to have all year long. First, there’s contentment, which is vital in a season where overspending is easy to do. Second, we looked at being thankful, especially how it can be a catalyst to our spiritual growth. Then we saw that an attitude of peace was critical to reducing stress during the holidays—we need to let God’s peace keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus by presenting our requests to him in worshipful and humble prayer.
Now we take a look at another seasonal attitude we need to have: Gentleness. Why gentleness? First, gentleness is supposed to be a mark of a Christian. It’s one of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), so it had better be growing in our lives.
Second, it’s during the holidays that many people who have lost loved ones feel that loss most. The person could have died six weeks previous, six months previous, or six years previous. But the thought of spending Thanksgiving or Christmas without them opens the wounds of their heart. Christians should be a people who can reach out in gentleness to those who are grieving.
What is gentleness? It’s funny how you think you know what a word means until you try to define it. We know what gentleness is from seeing it in action. A mother with her baby. A nurse with a patient. A kitten curled up and asleep on someone’s lap. But how do we describe it? One secular encyclopedia had a surprisingly good definition:
Gentleness is a strong hand with a soft touch. It is a tender, compassionate approach toward others’ weaknesses and limitations. A gentle person still speaks truth, sometimes even painful truth, but in doing so guards his tone so the truth can be well received. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gentleness)
My own definition of gentleness is this: Gentleness is an attitude and an action that combines kindness and concern for someone with physical and emotional sensitivity. It’s an attitude because it’s how you really feel about someone, but it’s also an action. Gentleness has to be shown in action for it be gentleness.
You see this with a mother comforting a child with a skinned knee. She bandages the knee in kindness, she shows concern with physical touch, stroking his hair, and soothing words help him cope emotionally.
You also see this gentleness with a friend, listening to the grieving of another. There’s kindness in just being willing to listen. There’s a physical connection with eye contact, or perhaps they are sitting side by side on a park bench. There’s emotional sensitivity with words like, “I hurt with you” or the like.
Gentleness is an attitude and an action that combines kindness and concern for someone with physical and emotional sensitivity.
Why should we be gentle? First, because we see gentleness in our Creator and Savior.