A Gentle Heart

JR Miller

Gentleness has to be learned, says J R Miller. In this book he writes: “Gentleness is a beautiful quality. It is essential to all true character. Nobody admires ungentleness in a man or woman. When a man is harsh, cold, unfeeling, unkind, rude and rough in his manner, no one speaks of his fine spirit. When a woman is loud-voiced, dictatorial, petulant, given to speaking bitter words and doing unkind things, no person is ever heard saying of her, “What a lovely disposition she has!” She may have many excellent qualities, and may do much good, but her ungentleness mars the beauty of her character.

“No amount of good Christian teaching will ever make up for the lack of affection in parents toward children. A gentleman said the other day, ‘My mother was a good woman. She insisted on her boys going to church and Sunday school, and taught us to pray. But I do not remember that she ever kissed me.’ The mother was a woman of lofty principle, but cold, undemonstrative, repressed, wanting in tenderness.

“We find it hard to be gentle always and to all kinds of people. Perhaps we can be gentle on sunny days, but when the east wind blows we grow fretful and lose our sweetness. Or we can be gentle without much effort to some gentle spirited people, while perhaps we are almost unbearably ungentle to others. We are gracious and sweet to those who are gracious to us; but when people are rude to us, when they treat us unkindly, when they seem unworthy of our love, it is not so easy to be gentle to them. Yet that is the lesson which is everywhere taught in the Scriptures, and which the Master has set for us.”

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