The Lord rewarded my efforts and I continue to use these life lessons as a foundation for all that I do in ministry today. Here are a few of the things that I discovered about myself, as I investigated the word gentle/gentleness.
My need to be “right” got in the way and made me less effective.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 “The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome, but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil , who has taken them captive to do his will.
I found that the root of my sometimes less than gentle tone of voice was pride and impatience.
Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
But we didn’t stop there; the Lord then took me to my role as a wife. Beauty on the inside was more important than beauty on the outside. And get this, it doesn’t fade.
1 Peter 3:3-4 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes, Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
As I look back to those early days of learning what it meant to be a Christ follower, I can see how important it was for me to deal with this issue early on. These verses would come back to my remembrance over and over as the Lord began to transform my temperament. I still have a long way to go and I still have to pause and take a deep breath now and then before I speak, but I don’t have to take “my foot out of my mouth” nearly as often.