“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate……” James 3:17 NIV
In our house it is not uncommon to hear my husband or I telling one of our boys to “BE GENTLE”. It could be their walking, their manner of opening or closing the door. Bottom line is that its how they, their bodies, are interacting with some part of the house. What is the result if they are not gentle, over and over again? Things begin to break. The faucet in the kitchen has to be replaced (actually happened). If you ask them they would tell you that they are trying and they forget. It takes a conscious effort on their part to interact with the environment in a gentle manner.
Its easy to see and work to correct non-gentle behaviors with our physical environment but what about with other people? Another common phrase I find myself saying to my kids is “be nice with your words” or “be kind.” They struggle with how they are choosing to use their words.
Am I being gentle? Am I being considerate with other people?
You receive a box and with it a note that says, “this has been in our family for over 100 years and I want you to have it.” How will you respond? Will you tear open the paper and box OR will you carefully, slowly, gently unwrap the gift. Most likely you will open it gently. Why? Because its special. It has value. You unwrap it and its a small tea cup. The value of the story, the value to the person who gave it to you prompts you to respond with gentleness.
The Father values each of us immensely more than I can begin to comprehend. Are we gentle & considerate with our interactions with each other; with the life that we have been given? If we were to stop and review our actions, our attitudes, our words spoken in the course of the day what would it show us? Maybe you think back over your day and you are thinking – I am doing pretty good; here is the next question – what are you like when things are rough; something happens out of your control. A kid backtalks. Doesn’t do their homework. Lies to you. A project fails. Bad news from the doctor.
I believe that God can handle all of our emotions and He wants us to process them with Him. I don’t think He likes us being rough and rude to everyone around us because we are upset over something or at someone. Now, to remember that as things happen in life!
As I was thinking about the definitions of gentle and considerate I am convicted about my health. I have not given my health as much consideration as I should. Coffee, tea and chocolate are my friends. In moderation they are not bad, but to much of a good thing is no longer a good thing. When I look at eating and exercising I see rooms for improvement, and less coffee, tea & chocolate. I see a place where I need to grow – that I need to be gentler with my body. To take care of what God has given me, more than I have been.
What area are you challenged to be more gentle and considerate in? Is it when you are driving and someone cuts you off, choosing to not react? Or an interaction with someone who quickly irritates you, maybe what you need to do is go out of your way to be gentle in your responses, thoughtful. Maybe it is being more gentle with your environment, more conscientious of how you are interacting with it.
Like my kids who need to work on the words they say, how they speak to people and how they treat their physical environment; I know that there is room for improvement for me as well.
“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy & good fruit, impartial, sincere.” James 3:17 NIV
Today…..learning to follow, listen and obey; trusting in the ONE who loves me and HE loves you too.
Visual reminders help me remember what I am learning, I have a free 8×11 of James 3:17 or Bookmark available to download & print out.
DOWNLOAD HERE: James317FullPage
DOWNLOAD HERE: James 3:17 BookMark
Scripture quotations taken from the The Holy Bible, New International Version
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