“…but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:4

“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”  Matthew 5:5

Boy!  God is hitting me between the eyes this morning!  I have been angry with a family member and my responses have not been gentle.  Therefore, I have a heart problem!  “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.” (Matthew 12:34)  You can not have a gentle answer until you have a gentle heart.  You can try, like with all of the fruits, to train yourself to be soft spoken, but when you get squeezed, out will come the bitterness, anger, and meanness. 

Gentleness is not being a doormat.  You can have a bold personality and still be gentle of heart and word.  Mercy flows from a gentle heart.  Grace is the word of a gentle heart.  Unselfishness underlies a gentle heart.  A gentle heart hears God and speaks His words in love.  Gentleness can still judge another, but with a soft word that the other might repent and return to God.  Gentleness can rule a kingdom and the subjects will respond with gentleness.  Matthew 5:5 says that the gentle shall inherit the earth.  This is the regenerated earth of Ezekiel.  The gentle shall rule.  The gentle have been taught by God and therefore have this fruit of the Spirit.

I am going to go talk with God about my not so gentle heart and words.  How about you?  Is there a person or an area of your life that you are not being gentle with?  Are your words showing a heart of anger or bitterness?  If you are not at peace within, then you will not be gentle outwardly.  Remember to allow the fruit to grow naturally by digging deep into the word and into time with God.

Hint of the Day: We all occassionally have a bad day or wake up on the wrong side of the bed.  When our children would wake up grumpy.  We would send them back to bed to literally get out of the other side of the bed – the ungrumpy side.  This usually resulted in giggles and tickles.  It is hard to be grumpy when you are giggling!  Sometimes kids just need some quiet alone time (not punishment, just time to have little stimulation and to be still).  Every day after lunch we have an imposed “everyone to their own room (or bed) time”.  This is an hour when each person can regroup, refresh, and be ready to jump back into the family.  This really helped on days when mom needed some alone time!  We found that the afternoons always went smoother after we all had this time alone.  Some did puzzles, some read, and others fell asleep.  I would read a magazine, read my Bible or do a Bible study, or take a bath.  ThenI was ready to hit the afternoon with a smile! 

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