Week 8 – Gentleness – the habit that softens emotions
Arrogance destroys relationships. Pride creates and maintains conflict with others and destroys intimacy with those closest to us. James 4:6 ” God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” Gentleness is a result of humility, which softens relationships.
Humility helps maintain a realistic view of ourselves and accepts ourselves as who God created us to be. Finding a balanced view of yourself helps create a gentle spirit. Romans 12:3 “Don’t cherish exaggerated ideas of yourself or your importance, but try to have a sane estimate of your capabilities.”
Humility recognizes God’s grace in your life. Gentleness comes when we recognize God’s grace and give it to others as He has given it to us. 1 Corinthians 4:7 “If all you have is from God why act as though you’ve accomplished something on your own?”
Forgiveness allows gentleness. To forgive, admit that you have been hurt because denying what you already know to be true keeps you from healing. Be realistic about those who hurt you and release your offender. To be able to release your offender always remember that God is at work in their life, remember that God will turn the offense around to be a positive in your life and most importantly, God has forgiven you when you least deserved it. Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men of their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”.
Understand that there is a difference between forgiveness and restoration. While you can forgive alone, you cannot restore alone. For complete restoration, your offender must demonstrate repentance, i.e. make a change in their lifestyle, they must make restitution for damages done and they must rebuild trust over time. This is a two way street, but it can be done.