Gentleness and Patience
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Col. 3:12
In order to become gentle, one must try to be patient, for gentleness demands patience and thoughtfulness.
We lose patience rather easily dealing with disagreeable people, don’t we? When we become restless and annoyed, it’s difficult to maintain our composure and remain gentle. We turn cold and lower our voice, our expressions change ever so slightly, while we try to figure out a way out of whatever predicament we happen to encounter.
We should be gentle and patient as Christ was gentle. Indeed, Christ seemed to remain calm and collected in whatever situation and adversity in which he found himself. He was never surprised or overwhelmed by horrific circumstances.
Obviously, he knew what Judas was going to do in the end, yet he continued to treat him with patience and gentleness. There didn’t seem to be any bitterness, harshness, or impatience that surfaced in his dealings with the ultimate betrayer.
The first thing to lose is our tongue when we are short of patience, and we tend to utter something we may regret later. Gentleness is a rare commodity when things get tough and adverse situations only get worse if we follow our instincts and do whatever comes natural.
“You don’t seem to have a lot of patience with your grandchildren,” my son said to me. It’s quite noticeable that I often walk outside and stay out for a while when the boys get a little out of control. When patience is gone, so goes the gentle attitude.
Walking away from a difficult situation isn’t always a good solution, for problems may still remain. We tend to become more gentle and sympathetic toward the unlikeable if we don’t give up on them by merely walking away. Perhaps I need to spend time cultivating more understanding and patience toward all my grandchildren so that I may become gentler to them. They are mere children and I should not expect them to behave like adults.
Being grandparents who are almost foreign to all our grandchildren, I suppose affection and respect from them doesn’t happen all that naturally; it must be earned through love and patience and most importantly, gentleness. This is the vital lesson I have yet to learn in dealing with my children’s children.