‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.’Ephesians 4:2 NIV
Gentleness is one of the fruits of the Spirit (have a read of Galatians 5:22-23). It might not always come naturally to us, but the Spirit can help us to show it to all those we meet. In today’s culture, gentleness can be misinterpreted as weakness. If we respond to people in a gentle way, we can be accused of letting people walk all over us. This can especially be the case if we’re in a leadership position. The more authority we have, the more we’re expected to be assertive and in control. Unfortunately, a lot of leaders can move away from gentleness, and even from assertiveness, and they become controlling and aggressive in their communication. But the greater our authority, the more gracious our attitude towards others should be. If we’re leading others in any capacity, we need to be showing gentleness and kindness to them. We need to be leading from a place of love. Jesus is the best example of a leader we can ever have. In the Bible, He’s referred to as a lion and a lamb. He’s the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and the Lamb of God (take a look at Revelation 5:5-6). When it comes to standing for the truth, we should roar like a lion and stand up for what’s right. But when it comes to dealing with people, we should be as gentle as a lamb. Paul wrote: ‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.’ We’re not called to be harsh, rude, or controlling towards other people, no matter what position we’re in. Instead we need to show God’s love, kindness, and gentleness to all we meet.