“The art of gentleness toward ourselves leads to being gentle with others” (Brennan Manning)
When writing this last ‘Mission Matters’ of the summer, I looked up the definition of ‘gentleness’. According to one dictionary, to be gentle means to be “considerate, kindly, and tender”.
I love that.
‘Gentleness’ is also one of the 9 fruits of the spirit. It seems clear that there’s something very important, in God’s eyes, when it comes to gentleness.
Brennan Manning makes an important observation when it comes to our ability to achieve gentleness. He says that it has to start with being gentle towards ourselves.
That is a massive challenge for me personally.
There’s no one on the planet that could beat me up more than myself. If I fail at my diet or exercise routines, or if I just don’t live up to the expectations I put on myself, I can be really self-deprecating. Just this past week as my holidays finished, I took stock of how off the rails I was with what I ate, and I beat myself up for it.
There was really no need. No one deserves to be treated that way.
I want to be gentle towards myself and others.
I want to treat all people – no matter who they are, what they’ve done, how they look or behave – as considerately, kindly, tenderly, and gently as God would treat me.
Gentleness is our gold standard as to how we treat people. So as August comes to a close, let’s take stock of how gentle we are towards ourselves and to others as we continue to strive to be ‘The Hand of God in the Heart of the City’.
Come and rain down gentleness on us
Help us to be gentle when we interact with people
Change us and manifest Yourself through us in gentleness we pray
(adapted from here)