Who wants to be like Jesus?
I bet if you are reading this, your answer is, “I do!” A characteristic of Jesus that people are drawn to, is his gentleness. When you think of someone who is gentle you probably think of someone who lets you go first, someone who talks in a kind voice, or someone who uses their hands to help others.
Gentleness is one of the fruits of the Spirit. When we are gentle with our brothers or sisters, it is evidence of the Lord’s work in our hearts. We don’t always want to speak kindly when your sister tells a lie about you or when your brother breaks your favorite toy, BUT when we ask God to help us have gentleness and choose to speak kindly, we are allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts. Proverbs teach us a very practical way to show gentleness.
Look at Proverbs 15:1. It says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” A soft answer means talking kindly, not yelling or screaming at one another. Wrath is a really, really bad kind of anger. It’s not fun to be around someone who has a really bad kind of anger. But GOOD NEWS! In this verse, it tells us that by gently talking to someone, it turns away their anger.
An example of a harsh word could be yelling at someone when you don’t like what they have done. When someone is yelling at you, it makes you become angry right along with them. On the other hand, when someone speaks in a soft or kind way to you, it doesn’t make you feel as angry.
ACTION STEPS with your kid(s): As a family, memorize Proverbs 15:1. Then, when you feel like speaking unkindly to someone, STOP! Two ways to help yourself respond gently:
1. Before you speak unkindly, in your mind or out loud, say, “A soft answer turns away wrath.”
2. Count to 3 and then talk in a calm voice.