God’s Gentleness, Your Learning Environment

“Your gentleness has made me great” (Ps. 18:35, NKJV).

This verse is unexpected. I would have thought that David would instead say to God, “The prowess for battle that You granted me has made me great.” Or, “Your unmatched military training, coaching me on killing that lion and bear, has made me great.” Maybe even, “Your mighty right hand has made me great.”

Instead, this. “Your gentleness has made me great.” God’s gentleness? How did that make David great?

Then it dawns on me. It’s God’s gentleness that makes any of us great. It’s His gentleness with us as we go through His life-long growth track. It’s His unending patience with us as we make mistakes and learn from them. It’s His kindness in holding out His hand to us, helping us get up again when we have fallen. It’s His mercy poured out on us lavishly, again and again and again.

In a passage where we read about rest for our souls, Jesus invites us, “Learn of Me… I am gentle” (Matt. 11:29, AMPC). As we come to know His gentleness personally, our souls find rest. In that spacious place of rest, we can grow into greatness. We can thrive because He is gentle.

What is greatness anyway? Jesus defined it for us: being like a child, and being like a servant (Matt. 18:4, Mark 9:35). As we thrive in the learning environment of His gentleness, our souls learn childlike trust. After we have failed a million times and not once has He been angry with us, we put down soul roots into the safety of His love. We come to trust Him as a little one trusts her good, good Daddy. His gentleness makes us great.

As we watch Him be gentle with us, a desire to be like Him springs up inside of us. He is so gentle and kind with the ones He loves. He tends to us, takes care of us, provides for us, all in a beautiful spirit of gentleness. Being the recipients of such magnificent goodness inspires in us a desire to imitate Him. We, too, want to serve others. We want to grow up into this greatness we see in Him. We want to become genuine servants. His gentleness makes us great.


Have you come face to face with the gentleness of God? If so, how would you describe your experience of this essential part of His nature?

26 thoughts on “God’s Gentleness, Your Learning Environment

  1. This is a wonderful post! The photo of the parakeet attracted me. When I was a child I had a parakeet that looked just like the one in your photo. His name was Pokey and he was very smart. (I won’t bore you with all the things he could say and do!) Anyway, I’m so glad I was drawn to your post. It really spoke to my heart today. God bless you, Jennifer!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, Pokey was very tame and said a lot of things like:
        Where’s Cynthia?, I love you, (kiss sounds), What ya doing?, He’s a pretty boy.
        He said more, but I can’t remember. Oh, and he talked in a very southern accent! Thanks for letting me share some of him with you! Blessings, Jennifer!

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      2. If you would indulge me one more time… When my kids were small, we had a cockatiel who was also very tame. He could whistle “the Andy Griffith song”. Aren’t God’s creations amazing! Blessings, Jennifer!

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  2. Jennifer, this is beautiful. The words “face to face” caught my attention and I thought of the radiance of God described in Ex 33. In Vs 11 Moses was “face to face” with God as an intimate friend and in Vs. 20 God says he can not see his “face” and live. That stopped me this morning. If it had caught my attention before I don’t remember. But I pondered how we can’t as humans take in God in His full glory, so he protects us from it as in allowing Moses to see the back of Him. And yet we are able to commune with him “face to face” as intimate friends, spirit to Spirit. Intimacy speaks to me of gentleness as does protection. He is my intimate Protecter. Did I answer your question…? 😄💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you definitely answered it in a most wonderful way, Deb! Thank you for being so thoughtful in doing so. That same thing has struck me in that beautiful passage. I just yesterday came to the description of his graduation to heaven at the end of Deuteronomy, and was struck all over again at the words, “Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses whom the LORD knew face to face.” WHAT a legacy! May He take us more and more into those intimate encounters with Him.

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  3. I have often marveled at the way David came to understand God’s grace, when so many before Jesus were tied up in the legalities that were spelled out (to cut down on the ways we found to hurt ourselves with bad behavior). This morning, reading in Psalms 22, it dawned on me that David prophetically looked ahead to Jesus’ sacrifice to bear our sin. His understanding of God’s gentleness came through revelation, the same way we come to understand Him.

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  4. Jennifer, this testament speaks vividly of the fruits we receive from the Spirit in our relationship with God, three in One. When I spend quiet time with my Creator, He teaches with gentleness, kindness, and grace. He has opened my heart to ask for His forgiveness as well as forgiving others.

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