"Since you have been chosen by God who has given you this new kind of life, and because of His deep love and concern for you, you should practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to others. Don't worry about making a good impression on them but be ready to suffer quietly and patiently. Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others" (Colossians 3:12,13).
J. C. Penney, a devout Christian whom I knew personally, built one of America's leading businesses on the principle of the Golden Rule, taught by our Lord:
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
He and other gentle men have developed tenderness and sensitivity to others through their years of maturing, often through many difficult and trying experiences. So should we as Christians seek to develop gentle spirits through the trials and tribulations that God permits us to go through.
Do you lack gentleness in your life?
Do you have a tendency to be arrogant, proud, boastful?
Are you overbearing or even coarse and rude with others?
By faith you can become a gentle person. By faith you can confess your sins and know that they have been forgiven. By faith you can appropriate the filling of the Spirit of Christ. By faith you can practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to others.
The Lord has commanded us to be gentle people, so by faith we can ask for that portion of the fruit of the Spirit, gentleness and love, and know that He is changing us for the better.
As I have cautioned with regard to other Christlike traits, this is one which usually develops over an extended period of time, usually through the maturing process that comes only with time and trials and sometimes tribulation. Pray that God will give you patience with yourself as you mature into the gentle and humble person He wants you to be.
TODAY'S ACTION POINT: God's promise to me is that He forgives; with His help I will forgive and practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to others, with the prayer that I may be more and more conformed to the image of my Lord.
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