“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

– Proverbs 15:1

Yesterday, we talked about how being aware of what people are going through and being sensitive to their pain enables us to love like Jesus did. Today, I want to talk about the third thing we can do to become a life-giving presence in relationship with others — be gentle.

In our crazy world, it seems that we have gotten more and more harsh with each other. Whether in politics or religion, people have become violent in their rhetoric and language. When we get in a fight with our spouse or get angry at the guy who cut us off in traffic, many of us tend to respond harshly and with a mean spirit. However, this is not helping us as a society. As we are forced to function in an angry world, here’s one important thing to remember: hurting people hurt people. The ones who have the roughest exterior are typically the most fragile souls; they need someone to gently care for them and to love them just as they are, not as they should be.

Be gentle in your debates and tell the truth, always. The enemy works through deception and the Lord works gently through the truth. There is an allure to gentleness. As Philip Yancey said, “no one ever came to Jesus through losing an argument,” so use your head and connect with others on the level of their heart. When you do, Jesus will be evident in and through your life!


God, I pray that you will make me gentle, like Jesus. Refine my words and guide my actions so that I reflect your heart in my relationships.


Do you think of yourself as a gentle person? If so, how has this helped those around you? If not, how can you cultivate gentleness?

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