Chatting about Gentleness and a Book Giveaway!!

Thank goodness for my Kindle because my book shelves are sagging in the middle despite me repeatedly cleaning out the books I can ‘do without’ and still survive.

I’m a bookworm from way back, so it’s perfect that one of the ‘perks’ of being a writer is getting to read and review books from other authors.courageousgentleness

When I saw the title of Mary Ann Froehlich’s new book, Courageous Gentleness, I knew I wanted to read it, review it, and give a copy away to someone else.  You can read my book review here.

I’ve felt my own spiritual toes stepped on before when reading this verse, “Let your gentleness be evident to all” (Philippians 4:5).  Because we too often treat gentleness like a personality trait.  You have it, or you don’t, either way is fine.

But it says it right there—our gentleness should be visible to everyone around us. It’s Christ in us, the Holy Spirit doing the work of producing spiritual fruit.

So, today, I have a little extra treat for you.  Mary Ann was kind enough to let me ask her some questions and share her answers with  you!

And wait, there’s more!

Just for being such a wonderful bunch of blog readers, today at the end of my interview with Mary Ann, I’ll give away a copy of her book.  Stay tuned to find out how to qualify for this special offer…

Okay, my friends, over to Mary Ann:

  1.  What’s your favorite holiday and why?

I love Thanksgiving because all my adult children come home for this celebration and it kicks off the holiday season.

  1. You are a musician, so I’m wondering if you could pick one instrument to learn that you’ve never learned to play, what would it be?

I enjoy listening to cello music so that is the instrument I would pick.

  1. Lots of times when we think of ‘gentleness,’ we think of ‘weak,’ ‘wimpy,’ ‘a doormat,’ or a ‘pushover.’  How is the biblical definition of gentleness different from that?

The biblical definition is quite the opposite. Gentleness embodies restrained strength. Unleashing harsh words or actions is weakness and evidences a lack of self-control. Our best example of restrained strength is Christ’s response to attackers during the days leading to his death.

  1. You have a successful career as a music teacher and you talk in your book a lot about practice.  What are your best tips on how to practice anything from a musical instrument to a spiritual trait like gentleness?

My best tip for practicing is to isolate the most difficult sections of a piece you are learning. Practice those first and multiple times until you are comfortable. Then you can play the piece from the beginning and avoid struggling through the tough sections. This same approach works for any skill we are learning that requires practice, which includes biblical behaviors such as gentleness and other fruit of the spirit. We will benefit if we first focus on improving the areas we struggle with most in life instead of avoiding them.

  1. You share in your book about Christianity having an “image problem” in the United States and you ask the question, “Are Christians Known for Being Gentle?”  What do you think the answer to that question is ?  How can we change that?

In my personal experience (and the research backs it up), Christians are not known for being gentle. The world knows Christians more for what they stand against instead of who they are for. As a body, we have an angry, intolerant reputation. What saddens me more is when Christians tell me that their fellow Christians do not treat them with gentleness. Through the years, I have had several friends who needed to remove themselves from the church when they were going through a tough season of life (a divorce, child on drugs, teen pregnancy, etc.). The church should be our safest place when we are in pain but too often fellow believers rub salt in our wounds.

  1. What’s your encouragement for someone who says, “I’m just not a gentle person. I’m outspoken.  That’s just who I am.”

I would say that the fruit of the spirit is not a personality trait. Every believer is called to mirror Christ. Practicing those biblical behaviors is hard work for all of us.

Thanks so much to Mary Ann Froehlich for sharing with us!

I’ll be giving away a copy of her book Courageous Gentleness using a random number generator.  All you need to do to enter is comment on this post (not on Facebook, here on the blog please) with the answer to this question:

Do you think Christians are known for being gentle?  If not, what can we do about our ‘image problem?’

I’ll close the giveaway on Thursday, July 17th at 11:59 p.m. and announce the winner in the blog for Friday, July 18th.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King

8 thoughts on “Chatting about Gentleness and a Book Giveaway!!

  1. Rita Taylor says:

    I hope Christians are known for their gentleness. However, we’re learning on a daily basis just like everyone else and sometimes we may come across as staunch or unforgiving. I try to exercise gentleness because I tend to need it as well.

  2. irosadino says:

    I would love to be able to answer that yes we as Christians are known for being gentle, but I don’t think that is accurate. I think the image problem in today’s society for Christians as a whole is bigger than most realize. There is a combination of things that has contributed to this, first is the image false converts can portray, those who claim to be Christian and I feel that in their hearts they believe they are but the examples they show in their lives and actions does not in anyway exhibit Christ ‘likeness’. An example of this is a neighbor in my street goes to a large Christian church openly brags about church and declares their family Christian, yet their actions towards their own children and fellow neighbors don’t show love and kindness and respect and forgiveness, they show anger, disrespect and living for themselves, so those who see this get this false impression of who Christians are by observing the false convert and it is quite sad to see.

    Another image problems stems from the assumption that Christians live perfect lives and up hold certain morals and laws without problems or flaws and the impression is left that Christians are unforgiving, judgemental of others and have lives without problems or trials and this definitely does not give the appearance of being gentile.

    I don’t have and answer or solution outside of doing our best as Christians to show those around us Christ and His gentileness by doing our what we can to be an example of Him and loving others the way He loves us, continually growing in out walk and faith and each day doing better with our example than we did the day before. Teach our children and share our faith to those around us with kindness and gentile words, share our love of Christ
    serving wherever we get an opportunity and praying for those around us who are giving a poor image of Christians that they may transform and walk with Christ as we do. Pray without ceasing.

    • Heather C. King says:

      This is so good, Ingrid. I think you’re right that there are many sides to the ‘image problem’ we have as Christians and some of it is just the fact that we need Jesus. We’re not perfect. We mess up and we need a Savior. I also heard it this week in our sermon at church—that too often Christians are known for what we are ‘against’ rather than what we are ‘for.’ Great thoughts! Thanks for sharing them!

  3. kathy nicholas says:

    I say as Christian’s we are considered to be more gentle than others. But I believe it is a daily battle for all of us just as it is for anyone.

  4. Lisa Preuett says:

    Heather, I appreciate you giving us the opportunity to ponder this question. The church as a whole is not known for its gentleness. So sad, but true! While we can’t change the harsh, judgmental behavior of others, we can change the way we respond to those God has placed in our circle of influence. Our influence will generate a spirit of gentleness if we choose to die to self and let the power of the Holy Spirit flow freely through us.

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