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Isaiah 40:9-11 NIV, Matthew 11:28-30, 2 Corinthians 10:1-18, Titus 3:1-2, James 3:13, 1 Peter 3:13-17

In an instant, the whole world seemed to fall away. We had just been told that our unborn child had serious and life-threatening medical issues. The doctor delivering the news was clinical…cold…indifferent. To her, this was just another baby who might not make it. To us, it was a category five hurricane of fear, stress, and pain. 

As the doctor rattled off our options (none of them good), my heart started to race and my palms became sweaty. I was having trouble comprehending the information. I fought simultaneous urges to either bolt from the room and melt into the exam table. Then came the hand…

The ultrasound tech sitting beside me reached out his hand and held mine. He didn’t say a word. His gift to me was a soft touch. It was a simple, sweet gesture loaded with power. His gentleness put an oxygen mask on my heart. I could breathe again. I could think again. I could face my new reality. All because a stranger tenderly reached toward me. 

Encounters with true gentleness are rare. As broken people in a broken world, this is not our way, not our natural inclination. As I reflect on how I interact with others most often it’s clear: if life is a china shop, then I am a bull. In my flesh, I barrel my way through conversations, I crash through conflicts, I careen through daily life. Jesus reaches toward us with a different way, though—the way of gentleness. 

The book of Isaiah records the prophet’s description of God’s power (Isaiah 40:10). But then Isaiah seems to make a hard right:

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young (Isaiah 40:11, NIV).

God doesn’t have mood swings. He isn’t one or the other—He is both. He is unmatched in both power and gentleness (Matthew 11:29). He commands heaven’s armies (Psalm 46:7) and tenderly leads His flock. He is the roaring lion of Judah and our precious Passover Lamb. All of this points to His power, which is strong enough to destroy sin and death and gentle enough to woo us toward Him with His grace. 

As God’s children, the Spirit teaches us to live in this remarkable tension. We don’t have to clamor for attention, for influence, for power. Our lives can gently whisper about God’s goodness. And the world who is in the eye of the hurricane of sin and darkness will listen. God’s gentleness, extended through us, is so shocking it warrants attention. Jesus, in His mercy, has reached His gentle hand toward us. May the power of His Spirit help us reach out in gentleness toward others. 

Lord, thank you for being our powerfully gentle Savior. Teach us to be more like you. Amen.

(46) Comments

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46 thoughts on "Gentleness"

  1. eileen arredondo says:

    Teach me to be more like you ❤️ !!!! To remember to be gentle.

  2. Fabiana Passoni says:

    Thanks for the teachings Rabboni!

  3. Dej Scott says:

    I pray to become more gentle

  4. lilly roach says:

    i definitely need to work on gentlest more! this was such a great devo

  5. Erin Carr says:

    Oh my. This cut right to my heart. “If life is a China shop, I am a bull” that really is true for me! Going through each day, I realize that I am not very gentle.

  6. Alison Stover says:

    This was a great reminder that gentleness is not weakness! There are many examples of this in the Bible.

  7. Jasmine Taylor says:

    Lord, I pray you give me Your spirit on gentleness & kindness ♥️

  8. Brooke Tillman says:

    This one made me cry, but it was a enlightening one, thank you.

  9. Molly Fitzgerald says:

    Forgive me for the times that I have been a bull in a China shop. Show me to replace the negative energy with gentle energy, Lord.

  10. Jenny Lopez says:

    Praise God. May the Holy Spirit help me be gentle like Christ ❤️

  11. Patti Bearden says:

    “God’s gentleness extended through us, is so shocking it warrants attention.” Let this be lived out through me, Lord.

  12. Kate Emmert says:

    Our lives can gently whisper about Gods Goodness

  13. Rhonda Jury says:

    This…it’s a breath of fresh air. Lord, may I be that gentle hand to others. May You impress upon me to linger longer. Gentleness.

  14. Krysta Orona says:

    Wow, amen and amen

  15. Megan Erasmus says:

    What an amazing devotional. Thank you! God is such a gentleman. Amen x

  16. Martha Hidalgo says:

    I so needed this today – this has been for me an eye opener to myself and what Jesus desires for me to change through His Holy Spirit.

  17. Brandy Deruso says:

    Lord thank you for being a gentle savior! Beautiful!

  18. Brittany Njie says:

    This was by far my favorite day of the readings. I thank God for his gentleness. Just what I need in a world that is raging war on all things to do with the God that we serve. He leads us and takes care of us and we can trust in him. Thank you Jesus!

  19. Lindsay C. says:

    I love this quote, “God doesn’t have mood swings. He isn’t one or the other—He is both. He is unmatched in both power and gentleness.” I was admiring this truth about God when I realized how much power there is in gentleness. How strongly Erin felt the power of the Spirit when another was gentle with her. Let our gentleness speak boldly of Christ’s power.

  20. AnneLyn P says:

    Me too, Esther!

  21. Kenya says:

    Gentleness. It is not my forte. I move briskly, quickly, harshly through life with very little consideration of others feelings. I know I can be cold and off putting. I like to keep things surface level except with the people I trust most – but even then my deep down emotions come out harshly and directly.

    My mom told me recently I haven’t given her what she needs emotionally (my entire life). First of all, it’s not my responsibility to feed life into my mom, but I do understand where she’s coming from. I don’t have a desire to go deep. To connect emotionally with people. It’s just not something I crave. But even so I still have to find gentleness in the way I connect. I still need to bring kindness and forgiveness. I know I fall short on this because my wall goes up so quickly.

    I love in 2 Cor when Paul says “ For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh.” I find myself acting in my flesh a lot – time to get things done. Time to be busy. Time to be efficient. Time to be correct. Time to be perfect. But in reality, God will do all of those things through me and I can turn it around and bring His gentleness into the world instead. I don’t have to bring the strength and the power. And even if my emotional connection is different than others, I can still bring gentleness and kindness. I can still always bring love.

  22. Gail F says:

    Gods timing is perfect. Thank you Erin for sharing your story. Reminding me of the gentleness that I have experienced in tough times has brought me to tears of joy and gratitude. I hope that God gives me what it takes to be that for someone else.

  23. Taylor says:

    What an incredible God we serve who is unmatched in both power and gentleness (like Nhu said He is the entire spectrum!) I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for this community!

  24. Jessica Hargett says:

    Thank you for this. In my small world of influence, I know that even I can have the potential to change things. Praying that I show gentleness instead of anger or jealousy or impatience or comparison or whatever else tries to steal the joy that Christ has so graciously given. Praying for a gentle spirit in such a time when people and myself need it most.

  25. ERB says:

    Esther and Sarah, we are a day behind here in the states too! At first I thought it was because of Thanksgiving.. but I brought up the He Reads Truth website and found the readings there!! I will post today’s reading from He Reads Truth (day 12) in the comments here…

    Scripture Reading: Matthew 23:1-28, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, 2 Peter 1:3-11

    If you’ve never taught a room full of 5th graders a Bible lesson right before lunch, let me paint you a picture. With each passing minute, they become increasingly restless, and they cannot resist the urge to squirm, wiggle, sigh, and fidget. There I am, pouring my heart out, and I can’t understand why they aren’t sitting still and listening with rapt attention. But you see, I am the one thing standing between them and having lunch, laughing out loud, and enjoying each other’s company. In short, I don’t stand a chance by the end of class.

    Parents and teachers attempt to train children to exhibit self-control, though it runs counter to everything their bodies and minds are telling them: Get up! Move! Run! Laugh! Move some more! They seem determined to rail against any directive to control themselves physically. (It would seem the training has not been effective.)

    Meanwhile, I’m facing my own internal struggle. As I push through my lesson, straining toward the finish line, I grow more and more impatient with the rising tide of squirminess. My heartbeat quickens as initially innocent wiggles evolve into a full-blown mutiny against my authority. At this point, I am outside of myself; any internal fortitude of my own has been exhausted. There’s nothing I can do by my own strength to meet this ostensible insubordination with the peace, patience, gentleness, and joy that I know the Lord desires from me, and that I know the children need.

    Ironically, I’m standing before them essentially preaching the “more excellent way” of love in Christ, and I am on the verge of demonstrating the exact opposite. How much easier it would be to raise my voice and foam at the mouth in order to regain control of the class! Students sense the end of class, and some of them start to pack up because they just can’t sit still one moment longer. Chicken tenders and chocolate milk are just around the corner, and they have forgotten I exist. As I feel myself teeter over the edge, I am convicted by the words of Matthew 23: I am like a whitewashed tomb, appearing righteous and clean on the outside, but filled with hypocrisy and wickedness (vv.27–28).

    “Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything.
    They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable crown” (1Corinthians 9:25).

    But I simply cannot manufacture the self-control I require. If I rely on my own strength, I become a blind and ineffective guide to the precious children He has placed in my care. I need to remember that the Spirit of the Lord lives within me, bringing freedom. As I contemplate His glory, I recall His promise to transform me into His image (2Corinthians 3:18). I need the Lord Himself to bear the fruit of His Spirit within me. Only then can I exercise the self-control I need to love my students as Jesus would have me love them—with justice and mercy, with faithfulness and patience, with peace and gentleness.

    Written by Alex Florez

  26. Blessed Beth says:

    I love this, as I am a person of few words, to just put my hands on one’s shoulder or hold them has often been how God has often directed me. I praise God for the ability to touch and the power it holds in one’s heart.

  27. Sarah Cooper says:

    I assumed it was just the time difference from when they release them in the US

  28. Esther says:

    Is anyone else finding they’re a day behind? It’s day 12 here in the UK but it’s day 11 on the website. It was a day behind yesterday as well…

  29. Natasha R says:

    I am secure in Christ. I don’t have to hustle or compete for power or resources – He will protect and provide. That security allows me to be gentle to others. I pray that I be God’s gentle hand that reaches out to comfort and soothe.

  30. Donna Harris says:

    I am grateful for my family health and for the Lord in our lives as we prayed as a family before our meal today. That’s love

  31. Nhu says:

    I am amazed at the contrast of the author’s story. The hurricane news, the coldness of the one who delivered the news, and a soft touch of a stranger to uphold her. And the gentleness of the touch is what calms the storm. How powerful! Thank you for sharing your story Erin. Thank you for pointing out that God is unmatched in both power and gentleness, both ends of the scale (that pretty much spreads the whole spectrum). Only our God can cover it all like that. But, to his little sheep, the Bible is clear that His approach is the gentleness and the protection of the Great Shepherd. It tugs my heart so much reading your testimony. May the gentle touch from God be with us, to uphold us through storms and hurricanes of our lives, so we can overcome and glorify Him through the Word of our testimonies. Glory be to God.

  32. Tina says:

    I have encountered such a hand a couple of times, maybe more though the two times so stand out as they were brought to mind by your story Erin.. Thank you!

    The gentleness of God… huh!

    So very grateful for the reminder of the gentleness of God, and the hands and feet that He uses to show us in our time of need, His presence, His grace, His love… His enveloping LOVE!

    Sending Thanksgiving love to all who celebrate today..and love, love, love to those of us just thankful to be thankful..❤

  33. Laura Beckom says:

    Happy Thanksgiving SRT friends. May our lives gently whisper about God‘s goodness in this world.

  34. Maura says:

    So blessed by the scripture and your words this morning Erin. How good God is to us in His power and gentleness. Thankful for His loving kindness. Hugs to all y’all Sisters.

  35. Dorothy says:

    To those who celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.
    Being a nurse, I have encountered many a doctor like Erin described. But I, also, am happy to say I have encountered some that are just the opposite. Erin’s words “Jesus reaches toward us with a different way, though—the way of gentleness.” struck me and will stick with me. Gentleness is hard to come by.
    I hope everyone has a great day and those who are celebrating Thanksgiving don’t over eat.

  36. Sandra Buteau says:

    I experienced two hurricanes in my city this year. When the author said she felt like she was in a category 5, I completely understand. I’m so thankful that God is gentle and has sent so many people to help us rebuild. Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you are all safe.

  37. Laurel says:

    “Encounters with true gentleness are rare.” Such a profound statement, one I had not considered until Erin shared her moving example. May we each “whisper God’s goodness” in our interactions with others. So thankful for SRT and the wonderful, insightful comments each day.

  38. Alexis says:

    This was a beautiful story of gentleness. Thank you for sharing it Erin and Happy Thanksgiving!

  39. Donna Wolcott says:

    I am thankful for many blessings in my life and one is this community of sisters. Wishing you and yours a Blessed Thanksgiving!

  40. Sarah D. says:

    Happy Thanksgiving SRT family!! So thankful for all of you and for this community!

  41. Jill K says:

    He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
    and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young (Isaiah 40:11, NIV).
    This is a beautiful verse that quiets my soul! Our God is so good, all the time He is good!
    May we be always Thankful for His goodness.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  42. Cassandra King says:

    Beautiful!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  43. Kay Elder says:

    Beautiful message this morning. I often think of God’s hand reaching for mine in times of trouble. I am reminded that I can do the same as an expression of His gentleness. Be blessed!

  44. Chris Swan says:

    Happy thanksgiving SRT friends. I loved Erins story of the stenographer—- that is what happens everyday around the world at local Pregnancy Centers!! That gentle touch, that affirming smile, that hand of God!!

  45. Churchmouse says:

    Thankful this day that God is gentle with us. May we be gentle with ourselves and those around us, whether near or far. And if you are alone this day, may you feel the gentle whisper of your loving Father saying ‘I AM with you. You are Mine.”

    Praying we all count our blessings especially today!