Fruits of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control (Galatians 5: 22-23).
Character Focus: Gentleness
According to the Bible, gentleness is kindness with humility and respect. When engaging with others we should show respect and be absent of arrogance to display the Godly character of gentleness. Furthermore, 1 Peter 3:15 states that we should always be prepared to share the good news but to do it with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). When sharing our faith we should not disrespect others. Characterizing gentleness takes practice. One way we can accomplish this is through a daily routine like getting dressed. Colossians 3:12 says that we should “clothe ourselves with gentleness” (Colossians 3:12). As teachers, when we get up in the morning we should put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and the jeans of gentleness.
You have most-likely heard of the phrase, “The gentle giant.” With recent movies such as BFG and Jack in the Bean Stock, giants are a part of our culture. At times these films display gentle characteristics and other times a more aggressive depiction of powerful individuals. We all have giants in our lives. Giants need not be only physical. One may also be a giant in their personal, professional, and academic life. In any environment, there is something peaceful about an extremely powerful individual that chooses to display a calm peaceful demeanor rather than a threatening one. Have you come into contact with someone that has aggressively displayed their “giant?” Have you ever done that yourself? Similarly, individual scan have a giant personality. To most of our students we are “giants.” Whether that be physically, mentally, professionally, academically, and/or spiritually. It takes a humble person to put on a gentle persona rather than a threatening one. Teachers that choose gentleness will find more success with impacting the lives of young people in a meaningful way.
What can you do as an educator to ensure that you choose to be a Gentle Giant with kindness, respect, and humility? Even at our worst, students should experience our best.
Dr. Nathan Herzog