Marks of True Gentleness

GENTLENESS BUILDER. How do you define gentleness? It’s the mild and patient way of dealing with people, you may say. Gentleness is seen and heard–you talk calmly and politely to people and treat them like they’re so fragile. You do it to everyone regardless of age, gender, and build. Are you gentle with security guards?

Often, we associate gentleness with the kind of job people have. We expect security guards to be gentle with everybody, as well as doctors with patients, businesses with their customers, agents with their clients, and pastors or priests with their church members. But often, we don’t see ourselves in the picture. Me, needing to be gentle with someone? Perhaps with old folks, yes, but do I need to be gentle with janitors, vendors, doctors and sales ladies? I expect them to be gentle with me, not the other way around!

There is where true gentleness is seen. Gentleness can often be feigned, especially when it means closing a sale, getting favors, getting hired or promoted, or when you’re in front of a camera. Oh, you should see how most people behave and turn perfect when in front of a camera and especially if they’re on national TV. Cameras are powerful. They can transform politicians into saints better than church Sunday sermons can.

But even ordinary folks have a queer idea of what gentleness is. They think there are certain people who do not deserve their gentleness, like when they expect security guards to demonstrate gentleness to them, not the other way around. Or when they face receptionists at the complaints desk. True gentleness is when you are naturally gentle regardless of who you are dealing with. That’s genuine fruit of the Spirit. It’s odd, but I’ve seen how even some active church people and leaders become partial or biased when rendering gentleness with people. Worse, they show a different kind of gentleness with the rich and a lesser kind with folks they treat insignificant or poor.

Have you tried to be gentle with security guards (I emphasize security guards because they often get the brunt of customer cruelty), sales ladies, and cashiers? Or are you naturally gentle with poor folks, those treated as having lower stature in society? Are you gentle with your office janitors, especially when no one’s looking? As you should love your neighbor as yourself, you should be gentle with your neighbors as yourself as well.


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