Confession: I have gentleness issues.
I pat the dog's back too hard, I make noise when I walk, doors often slam when I shut them, and I am a classic shouter. Okay, so the shouting comes form the fact that as an elementary school teacher for years, I had my fair share of yard duty. Whistles do work, but shouting works too.
I'm not proud of my lack-o-gentleness, in fact, that is a character flaw in my life that needs some fixing. When I examine my life, and detect the many flaws that I have, I can either choose to ignore them, or seek, with God's help, to fix them. Fixing flaws is brutal. Self examination is tough. Working at changing character is a struggle. I need God's help.
As I look at my issue of gentleness, it becomes apparent to me that I have the ability to turn people away from Jesus by my harsh edge. On the other hand, I also have the ability to turn people to Jesus by choosing to work at becoming more gentle and patient with others.
Matthew 5:5 says, "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." Meekness is not to be associated with weakness. Meekness is defined as showing patience or humility; gentle. Wow. I want that. I need that in my life. I want people to describe me as gentle, and patient. Quite honestly, I laugh as I write this, because I have so much work to do in this area of my life.
God is not finished with me. He won't be finished with me until I enter Heaven , but in the mean time, I have some character adjusting to do. Through prayer, with God's strength, while avoiding the temptation to snap, slam, and hurry up life, I can change.