So just how much Love and Patience and Peace and Kindness does it take to be a thoroughly gentle person? You will need Self-Control too! Someone once remarked that if you want to know what the character of Jesus looked like - just study the nine aspects of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. He came to make you more like Jesus. Leo Rosten remarked, "I learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong."
A. Gentleness Can Easily Be Misconstrued
Elizabeth George said, "Gentleness is strength under control. It is the ability to stay calm, no matter what happens."
Paul, you are a two-faced man. 1"By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you-- I, Paul, who am timid when face to face with you, but bold toward you when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world."
B. Gentleness Can Easily Be Mismanaged
Paul, why don't you fight like everyone else does?
"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds." Charlotte Bronte wrote in Jane Eyre, "Oh! that gentleness! How far more potent is it than force!"
Williams Shakespeare, in Henry V, said "When gentleness and cruelty compete for a kingdom, the gentler gamester is the soonest winner."
C. Gentleness Can Easily Be Misrepresented
Paul, you are an empty boaster. "7 You are judging by appearance. (a) If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do. 8 So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it." "Only the gentlest hands can brush away tears." - John J. Geddes
D. Gentleness Can Easily Be Misunderstood
Paul, you use absence to scare people.
"9 I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. 10 For some say, 'His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.' 11 Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present."
Despite all the problems there may be with gentleness, it is still one of the Holy Spirit's greatest tools for changing relationships. Someone wrote, "Don't judge the gentlh; their gentleness is stronger than your fears and angers. Don't judge those who have lost their gentleness; you haven't lived their lives. In all people, hope for the gentleness to return and see gentleness for the beauty that it is."