13 Mar 2019

Growing In Gentleness and Goodness

Today’s blog continues to go deeper into our exploration of each fruit of the Spirit Paul speaks about in the 5th chapter of Galatians. Paul is speaking very clear and simple to one of the early Christian communities regarding what their behavior should be and the characteristics they should strive for.

Gentleness and goodness seem to be rather self-explanatory and do not require much effort . . . or is that really the case? Coming from my perspective as a female, when I think of gentleness, words such as soft, tender, and moderate come to mind. In this day and time of making our needs and personal pursuits priority, that doesn’t always leave much room for the interaction of being considerate and gentle. Even when we respond to our spouses, children, and extended family members it is often out of responsibility instead of genuine desire. That genuine desire to treat someone with care and concern, and real love that can be felt and not just heard in a hurried 3 letter expression (I love you), is not always a common occurrence. I try to catch myself when saying those three words, that I don’t shorten them even further with the abbreviated “love ya”! I know we are not talking about love per se, but you cannot talk about gentleness without realizing that it involves a feeling. I’ll take it a step further and interject touch into the description.

For many reasons, our guard has been put up by restrictions and limitations to touching one another. We must teach our children at a very young age about the difference between a good touch and a bad touch, and who should be allowed to touch you and the boundaries involved. Unfortunately, it has become so restrictive that even reaching for someone’s hand is sometimes offensive. Therefore, coming to the knowledge of how and why our world has transitioned to this state of self-protection makes it even more challenging to express gentleness with others. It means slowing down, taking time, being observant to the needs of others at the very least. It is a feeling that can only be generated from a genuine heart.

Gentleness ties in to goodness without much deliberation. Again, it too requires sometimes placing the needs of others before ours. It means making sacrifices, sharing our precious time when it is at times not convenient, it is viewing and responding to others beyond what you see on their surface. It can be as simple as smiling when the other person’s face shows a frown. You definitely do not have to look far to find someone who can benefit from your goodness.

I love the phrase “random acts of kindness”! What that means to me is that you do not have to devise a plan or a strategy to do something good for someone, you just do something good to the first person you see! Every time I try it, it works! Whether it is helping an elderly person in the parking lot that is unable to recall where they parked their car; calming a fussy baby or young child when the frustrated parent is at their wits end; or surprising someone with a meal or a dessert just to bring a smile to their face. When it is truly in your heart to do good, an opportunity will always present itself. Gentleness and goodness are a perfect recipe for real greatness!

Source: First Lady Denise