Cultivating Unity // Gentleness

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Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
— Colossians 4:5-6

Did you know that your greatest strength can also be a weakness? I've certainly discovered this to be true in my many years of ministry.

You see, I'm a type A, get-er-done, clear objective to accomplish kind of gal. And although this certainly can be a great strength to have, I have found its weakness in me to be that of a blunt nature. Sometimes in my singular focus to accomplish a task, I've come across as assertive in a way that has rubbed people the wrong way. I can have the most genuine heart and kindest of motives, but somehow my delivery has appeared inconsiderate at times.

This isn't easy for me to share and I'll be honest--I'm still growing in this area. But as someone working through what it looks like to be gentle, I can testify to its importance.

Gentleness goes a long way in any conversation, relationship, or situation. Proverbs says that it has the ability to turn away wrath; its power is great and truly incomprehensible.

When you interact with someone, Colossians says to do it in grace; that how we speak should bring out the best in a person. Particularly in a tense moment or one with an unbeliever. Being kind to someone when your instinct is to lash out or correct is gentleness in action. Therefore, when anger begins to brew in you and in the other person, it’s our responsibility to diffuse the tension. Choose to turn the table by responding in kindness and gentleness.

Perhaps you're like me in that sometimes your delivery, no matter how good intentioned your heart may be, can come across abrasive or inconsiderate. If so, it's time to start thinking about how you will respond before you do, in ANY and EVERY situation.

Whether it’s a relationship with another person or as part of the body of Christ, choose gentleness to guide you. Doing this will speak volumes to those around you and help foster unity in your relationships.

Make it a point daily to pray for gentleness. Pray that God will help you in the way you interact with and respond to others. Gentleness is not always easy but it is always necessary.