Do you have a reputation for being harsh? Something flawed inside each of us says that we can get what we want when we are harsh. Whether at the airlines counter or the fast food line, in the checkout aisle or the exit lane, on the basketball sidelines or the telephone line, we believe that harshness will satisfy our desires. Jesus taught a different pathway: “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5 NASB).
Gentleness is power under the Spirit’s control. Like a bit in a horse’s mouth, the Spirit’s residence in our hearts guides us when we are gentle. The Greek word for gentle is praus from prautes. Aristotle defined it as the middle course of being angry, between being angry for no reason and not getting angry at all. Gentleness is getting angry at the right time with the right measure for the right reason.
Jesus described Himself as gentle in heart (see Matthew 11:29). The God of the Universe is gentle, not harsh. Paul told us that the result of the Holy Spirit’s dwelling in us is gentleness (see Galatians 5:23). If the Spirit of God is alive in us, then we will be gentle, not harsh, in heart.
They shall inherit the earth is Jewish phraseology for the blessings of God’s Kingdom, His divine reign, rule, and order on this earth now and in the future. We were designed to be satisfied by the Kingdom of Heaven, the invisible movement of God’s will in our lives. We find satisfaction, not through our harshness, but through His gentleness because gentleness restores relationships.
Once and for all, eliminate harshness from your tone of voice. Before every text, call, email, note, meeting, or conversation, take five seconds to ask God to release the Holy Spirit’s gentleness through you. Those five seconds can transform your life.