The Gentleness Fruit

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, with humility and fear: having a good conscience; that, while you are spoken against as evildoers, they may be disappointed who curse your good way of life in Christ” I Peter 3:15 (World English Bible).

I have never had trouble sharing any information about God, probably because I’m extroverted and because of my preacher/teacher parents.  Also, I was brought up in and still live in Oklahoma, a state where Christians enjoy quite a bit of freedom and very little persecution.

Respect (fear) is easy enough for me.  I just have to remember how much God loves each one of us and I usually do.  He sent Jesus to redeem even just one person and we are His dear ones.  He is patient with us to give us the chance to repent because He doesn’t want anyone to be lost.

However, gentleness (humility) is very difficult for me.  Any big talker (like myself) can blab on-and-on about anything.  The real trick is to share anything at all with gentleness.  I used to scream at people in traffic.  I told the problem to a priest and he reminded me that though Jesus is the Son of the Greatest Power in the Universe—the Big Boss—He was very mild mannered and meek.  In other words, Jesus had “gentle” in the bag.  The more I am submitted to Christ, the gentler I become.  And God made us to become better at anything with practice.  I can practice gentleness with: inanimate objects (don’t throw the alarm clock, it can keep you from getting fired), plants (speak pleasantly to them—they give you oxygen), and pets (speak softly to our animal friends who lower our blood pressure).  I can practice gentleness with myself by avoiding some common demeaning practices: getting so mad at my mistakes, insulting my own looks, insulting my lack of perfect brain power, and calling myself names.  When I practice gentleness, it will become second-nature to me.

“Lord, please help me to plant seeds of gentleness in order to grow more of that Spirit fruit.”