The gift of gentleness

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartHappy Thursday! It’s a great day to share Coffee Hour. Did you remember to bring your piece of red yarn? If you didn’t, you’ll want to make sure to get it for our next Coffee Hour and every Coffee Hour thereafter. I probably should have started the New Year with us doing this, but that’s okay. As long as you have it by the time we meet for our first monthly WOW, which will be next week. Grab your coffee and let me explain the significance of the red yarn before we conclude with our shopping spree!

If you have a Bible, you may be aware that the New Testament uses red letters any time Jesus actually speaks to us, but I say that the entire Bible is woven with the red thread of God’s grace whose cost was the Blood of Jesus for God knew of our original sin and our need for a Savior. Now if you have not experienced that yet, that’s okay; keep this red strand of yarn with you when you come to Coffee Hour and every time you read something that speaks to your heart and/or encourages you in some way, even a tiny bit, tie a knot in that strand of yarn. My prayer is that within a few months, you will have so many knots, big and small that there’s no way that sucker’s coming unraveled!

What does the strand of yarn represent? It is symbolic to your faith/faithfulness. Can you just imagine holding it up after a couple of months and seeing all sorts of knots in it? How unlikely will it – your faith — become unraveled even in the toughest of times? This is a powerful and fun exercise that I actually started in A Cup of Grace for the Day devotional but because I am receiving comments from all over the world from Coffee Hour Friends about their Red Strand of Faith, and how their strand of yarn, and their faith, is getting stronger every day, I thought why not do this in 2015!

red_yarnI don’t know about you, but I’m hoping that my strand looks as thick as a rope because of all its knots. Let’s tie some knots together! And as we journey in the days, weeks and months ahead through our Coffee Hours, please, let me know how your Red Strand of Faith is doing!

Now, let’s get back to this final gift in our shopping spree, the gift of gentleness. Oh, to truly grasp these gifts will have us shopping less and giving more to those we come in contact with along the way.

Gentleness as a noun denotes fairness, moderation, sweet reasonableness. This word also translates to “meekness,” and I absolutely love the word picture the definition actually paints: power in control. So in other words, that image of a bull in a china cabinet that I can sometimes get of myself is not meekness. This definition has truly helped me keep a seal on an otherwise ready-to-blow emotional gasket

Gentleness/meekness does not insist on the letter of the law; it expresses reasonableness and wisdom from above.  We’ve all heard the term legalism, and actually, we throw it around within the church as if it were a ping pong ball, accusing many of this missing the mark, unknowingly becoming legalistic in our own legalism! The best way to avoid this bipolar opposite of gentleness/meekness is to stay in our own cars, in our own lanes and out of anybody else’s whom we feel is driving their car inappropriately, or illegally, not according to the law. God’s a great big God and can handle the lawbreakers; we must continue to be peacemakers!

When we are walking in and with the gift of gentleness/meekness, we are being … fair, kind, reasonable, sweet … It’s the form of being that God has called each of us to.

As I’ve mentioned before, I used to refer to myself as a bull in a china cabinet, seriously. I was so abrasive, and to this day, I must watch how I say things. See, I rarely experienced gentleness as a child; consequently, my view of God was not one of gentleness and meekness. I used to think He was up there playing monopoly with my life, sending me directly to different forms of jail. The God I envisioned was stern, mean and a cause-and-effect kind of god smiling only when I was behaving in a way I thought was worthy!

It wasn’t until later in my unpacking process, that I realized my own actions and lack of gentleness and meekness wound me up in self-made prisons of various forms. His gentle peeling back of many deep and painful layers revealed I was harboring feelings of anger and frustration towards God for the abuse I had endured as a child. As He cleared all that distorted thinking away, wiping away the wound and suffering, He showed me and told me that every time someone hurt/abused me, He wept.

But His timing of that revelation was when He knew I was ready to receive it. He used gentleness and meekness to appropriate that deep healing. He didn’t force His way into my life. That was when my perception of Him began to change and I began to experience His sweet reasonableness.

To this day, His gentleness/meekness is softening my rough edges and the image of me as a bull in a china cabinet only appears now and then.

Do you see Him as your God of gentleness/meekness? The Bible says that He stands at the door of your heart and knocks: He doesn’t stand there kicking it or banging on it. Knocking implies that He waits and He won’t force His way in. He’s a gentleman with gentle and meek ways.

Since He didn’t force His way into my life or His ways into my life and heart, and He won’t in yours either, why should we force ours on others?  Gentleness when extended is a gift that has the power to change hearts, and when hearts change, lives change.

We’ve been shopping and talking for a while now, so I’ll let you go for now and I promise to finish up this series and our fun shopping spree next week. Besides, I forgot, there is one more gift, the one that sort of holds all the others and we can’t end our shopping spree without it! Don’t forget your Red Strand of Faith so we can begin tying some knots together.

Join us tomorrow for Faith Filled Fridays with Debbie Croley!


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