Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
I am strong-willed. It’s a fact. I have heard it in a variety of ways and see it in my every day actions with my students, family and friends. My strong-willed nature has been called, intimidating, stubborn, headstrong, and my favourite” the thing that makes me a leader”. The latter masks the maladaptive aspects of this trait I have, and make it seem completely positive, giving me all the reason I need to prize my brash, insensitive, demanding ways. It soothes my ego and helps me stay blinded to the reality that I Stacy-Ann Smith could use a massive dose of gentleness and patience (and possibly a muzzle, but that’s a whole other blog).
Gentleness; the antithesis to my very culture and nature as a Caribbean woman. This trait, this beautiful state of being, has acted like an elusive nirvana that seems unattainable when the bus, taxi, or any driver on the road cuts me off with no regard to my safety or the basic road code. It is the blissful yet difficult state of being that is incomprehensible when I KNOW (or I am at least sincerely convinced) that I am right in an argument and the other party is not conceding to my established brilliance. Gentleness is like an intangible language that I am required to communicate in, AND UGHHHHH I have tried.
Unfortunately culture, family habits, and situational stupidity does not mitigate my responsibility to operate with grace. James says “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and ..unwavering, without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17). As a woman of God any wisdom I think I have should be characterized by gentleness Furthermore Paul says to PURSUE gentleness( run that thing down). And to prove that Paul was no hoax and not just trying to be all up in our Kool-Aid pointing fingers Paul then says ” [therefore] I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.” (Eph. 4:1-2) Paul doesn’t demand we walk right. In this instance Paul does the opposite. He earnestly begs from a place of being submitted and sold out to the purpose of the Kingdom to treat every encounter with each other as chance to demonstrate our calling. If I desire to walk in a manner worthy of the call of a believer I am to operate with humility (get over myself), gentleness (say it nicer Stacy-Ann) and patience (cut out that attitude boo!).
I know Paul was no pansy, and he didn’t tolerate nonsense. But even he could identify the need to exhort and rebuke in love (I believe he tried really hard J). Gentleness is so powerful. It is a grace to be attained. Abigail quelled a war with it. Esther saved a nation with it. Mary moved Jesus with it. I want to be in the company of such great women, and break bones with my gentleness, well, you know what I mean…(pray for me).