“My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted.”

Galatians 6:1

Friday, 6 November 2020

Galatians 5:22-23

How often do we commit wrong against others and how often do others do wrong against us? One may think this is a trick question. The truth is most of us if not all, get worked up when someone does something wrong against us. We forget that, as friends in Christ, we have to politely and gently correct the person. Yet, we expect others to gently correct us when we are in the wrong.

When we find ourselves in the wrong, we tend to judge ourselves harshly. We need to have someone else to correct us gently so that we do not end up digging ourselves into deeper holes.

It is hard to listen and accept feedback from others. We often get stubborn when we are in the wrong, even if we can see our mistake, simply because we feel the need to defend ourselves. We may react with anger and aggression, even though the other person tried to be gentle with us.

It is easier to get angry rather than stay calm when we find ourselves in a situation beyond our control. So gently pointing out transgressions to someone, or being the one shown your faults, requires patience. The ability to stay calm and resist the temptation to get angry is what St Paul is asking of us when he says, “Take care that you yourselves are not tempted.”

I leave you with this last thought from St Francis de Sales, noted for his deep faith and gentle approach to the divisions. “Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.”

Am I prepared to work on being patient and gentle with myself so I can be that to others? Am I willing to listen to others gently?

Lord,

I pray that you give me the heart to listen and to learn to accept the corrections from others with gentleness. Help me to notice your gentle promptings.

Amen.

 
Ms Nonto Thulile Mhlongo

Nonto Mhlongo is an intern at the Jesuit Institute, specialising in Ignatian Spirituality.

n.mhlongo@jesuitinstitute.org.za
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