According to a study from Gallup, 40% of adults from 115 countries globally said they had experienced worry or stress, and about one in four or more experienced sadness (27%) or anger (24%) in 2020. From already high numbers of 2019, anger rose two percentage points.
The world has been experiencing a record high of negative emotions and stressors. You don’t have to look far to see the truth of this, from social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to talk shows and podcasts. We live in a world with angry people saying and doing angry things. And unfortunately, being Christians doesn’t make us an exception. Somehow, we have lost our understanding of gentleness in a world of hot-takes and witty retorts.
Have you ever considered the nature of gentleness? The Bible refers to gentleness in several places. Our Lord describes Himself as gentle (Matthew 11:29). The fruit of the Holy Spirit that is to be produced in the life of all believers includes gentleness (Galatians 6:1; Ephesians 4:1-2; 1 Peter 3:15). Pastors are told to be gentle, even as they deal with opposition (2 Timothy 2:24-25; Titus 3:2; 1 Timothy 6:11). The apostle Paul even delighted in his gentle dealing with the Thessalonian church (1 Thessalonians 2:7). Christians are also instructed that heavenly wisdom is not just being open to reason, but it is marked with gentleness (James 3:17).