More Gentleness, Please | Tomorrow’s World

More Gentleness, Please

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There is great power in being calm and kind.

The spirit of the modern age, at least if you pay much attention to news and social media, seems to be one of protests and bullhorns, aggression and brazen demands—where the loudest and most extreme often seem to get their way. God’s word teaches a far better way, however, and emphasizes a virtue that, while not very common at this moment of history, would nevertheless greatly benefit everyone in society: gentleness.

The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines gentleness as “the quality of being calm and kind.” How beneficial and pleasant would the physical, mental, and emotional results be if everyone around us grew in this quality? If only the United States could place a large, advance order of gentleness as it heads into its 2024 presidential election.

The Bible describes gentleness as one of the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit, which include “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,” and “self-control” (Galatians 5:22–23). Followers of Jesus Christ are expected to exhibit these beautiful qualities in their dealings with others.

James, a half-brother of Jesus, also wrote about gentleness, saying that “where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (James 3:16–17). Again, how wonderful would a bit more gentleness be—a bit more willingness to yield—in society, in the news, in politics, on social media, and on the busy streets and roadways?

Our Gentle Savior

Gentleness is a practical and beneficial trait to develop in life. King Solomon of Israel gave one of the most practical biblical instructions, and one that very often works almost instantly: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). News media, social commentary, and social media—especially Twitter—seem to ignore this principle, since harsh arguments usually generate more clicks and more comments. This incentivizes loud, brazen, and extreme behavior, which is unfortunate, because the few who exhibit moderation, humble manners, and gentleness don’t get the publicity needed to succeed. In the political realm we see this so often on both sides of the aisle, and in both men and women—all the more saddening when we consider the Bible’s instruction for ladies to be “of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:4).

Gentleness is not some shallow, polite quality of “nice” people. We see it in Jesus Christ’s own character, and He says, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). Jesus, the God of the Old Testament, also dealt very gently with the nation of Israel, as the prophet Hosea described: “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son…. I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms…. I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love, and I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them” (Hosea 11:1, 3–4).

These scriptures show God acting as a loving parent to Israel—dealing with His young son with gentleness in order to lead, guide, and sustain him. And God still cares for His people today with love, mercy, and gentleness.

Modern society pushes people to demand instead of yield, to shout instead of speak softly, to be aggressive instead of humble, and to act with brazenness and brashness instead of gentleness and kindness. Christians must resist these trends by striving to imitate Jesus Christ’s many wonderful character traits and by following the Apostle Paul’s instructions to Christians long ago: “Let your gentleness be known to all men” (Philippians 4:5).

If you’d like to read more about the fruits of a true Christian, you can request a free copy of What Is a True Christian?, or read it online at


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