When you think about gentleness, what’s the first image that pops into your mind? Probably not Rojo & his friends!
In the dictionary, “gentleness” is defined as ‘the quality of being kind, tender, or mild-mannered.’
Many older Bible translations use the word meekness in Galatians 5:23, whereas modern versions translate it gentleness. Matthew Poole’s Commentary explains this quality as “forbearance of passion, rash anger, and hastiness of spirit.” Forbearance is restraint or self-control.
The Expositor’s Greek Testament says, “Meekness is the outcome of true humility, the bearing towards others which results from a lowly estimate of ourselves.” A lowly estimate of ourselves does not mean having a low self-worth; rather, it means not thinking of ourselves as higher or more important than others.
Jane Springer writes:
When I ask the question, “Are you gentle with your body?”, what is the first answer that comes to mind? My guess is the majority of you would say no.
Many of us are hard on our bodies – the way we treat it and the way we even touch it. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you push your body all day to the point of exhaustion and then exercise it way past its limits? Or go to the point of exhaustion and then fall out and eat or drink things that are not beneficial to it, like sugar or processed foods?
- When your body hurts, do you ignore what it is trying to tell you to do, like rest?
- In the mirror, do you pinch and pull at the parts of your body you don’t like, saying bad things about it?
If you answered any of these questions as yes, it’s time to consider making a change.
Be Gentle With Yourself
I will confess that I have done all of these things in my lifetime. I know what my limits are with chronic fatigue, but sometimes I have ignored what my body is telling me and exercised anyway, because I think I should. The result is that I am in recovery mode the next day.
I’ve had days when I have pain in my hips or thighs and exercised anyway, instead of resting. Heck, there were days when I was in college when I would exercise in the heat of the Florida sun in a plastic suit, so I would sweat off the weight.
I’ve exhausted myself and at the end of the day, rewarded myself with some ice cream, because I “needed energy.”
And as for hating parts of my body, I have grabbed and pulled at the extra fat of my thighs and rear, wishing I could cut it off.
If that sounds extreme, well, it was. And I’m not proud of it.
The good news is that I have learned over the years to be more gentle with my body and you can learn to be more gentle with your body, too.
- Which “gentleness with your body” question hit home for you?
- When do you find it most difficult to restrain from rash anger or hastiness of spirit?
- What’s one way you could be more gentle with your body?