I loved the slightly unexpected nature of the title for Mary Ann Froehlich’s new book, Courageous Gentleness. In a modern world like ours, where we marvel at the brazen, the bold, the loud and powerful, her book encourages us to prize, treasure, and pursue the spiritual fruit of gentleness.
The book is filled with Scripture and each chapter concludes with a few questions of “Personal Retreat” to guide the reader into deeper reflection and personal application. At under 200 pages, the book is short, easy to read, but thought-provoking.
She begins with a chapter that asks, “Is Gentleness for Wimps?” Then she follows with chapters on the gentleness of God, of Jesus, and of Christians, as well as chapters on practicing aspects of gentleness such as humility, self-control, communication, patience, and more. Biblical gentleness, she argues, isn’t being weak or wimpy. It’s more like a powerhouse of meekness.
So often we excuse our lack of gentleness by saying, “Well, that’s just not me. I’m outspoken. That’s who I am.” But the Bible is clear when it says, “Let your gentleness be evident to all.” We are all to practice gentleness. It’s a marker of our faith and a sign of the Holy Spirit at work within us. It’s supposed to be part of our Christian testimony, drawing others to know Jesus.
I love that Mary Ann Froehlich emphasize that gentleness is a trait we practice by disciplining our tongues and taking time to craft responses to others. It may not be our natural bent, but it’s part of our Christian calling. As she writes, ‘gentleness is not simply a quality, trait, behavior, or characteristic. It is a choice.”
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