Tempest in a Teapot

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV

original photo: hkbowman0128

Tempers. They can get the best of us sometimes, can’t they?

Have you ever had a situation where you just lost it? I mean really lost it? Like some other person took over and what came out of you was the spawn of the devil?

It happened to me. It’s been a few years ago, but it is still seared in my memory—It’s one of those “events” that has stayed with me.

A family squabble had turned into an all out rage. I thought I had left that behind when I gave my heart over to Jesus, but in the middle of the night during a heated argument over the phone, my feelings were deeply hurt, the insults were felt hard and my temper was lost. My emotions boiled over. I spewed loudly and fiercely.

Calmer heads later prevailed, but the damage had been done. My heart ached for the pain between all those involved…my embarrassment ran deep. I literally fell to my knees for forgiveness from God, and I pleaded with the others to forgive me for my part.

And you know something funny, that previous morning I had agreed to speak weeks later on the topic of Gentleness—Gifts from the Holy Spirit. It seemed that God said, “If you’re going to speak on it, I’m going to give you some on-the-job training.” And obviously he did—don’t you just love His humor?!


A topic I’m not usually associated with. Ask my friends. Ask my family. Ask my husband! You will find no further opposite of a woman in the mild, mousy, or quiet category. (I am soooo hoping there is at least one other person who can give me an Amen!)

If you are in the same category—take heart. It took me awhile to figure out but let me reassure you, God himself has made you that way. God needs quiet women, and he needs loud women. He needs wallflowers, and he needs wall busters.

We are ALL tools in His kingdom.

So what do we do with this thing of Gentleness? How do we understand it, and how do we “do it”?

Biblically, it is specifically tied to self-control.

Biblically, meek is intertwined as a similar word.

Biblically, God has a vastly different definition of those words than man does.

Gentleness (meekness):

It is power in the seemingly powerless of situations.

It is strength in the midst of turmoil.

It is the control to react appropriately.

Can you see…

Gentleness = Power and Strength, under Control!

Gentleness has NOTHING to do with being a doormat, nor does it have anything to do with being an introvert over an extrovert. It solely has to do with keeping it together when everything inside you wants to scream out.

Maybe it’s from the rage when your husband angers you.

Maybe it’s from the rage when your kids are acting like…kids.

Maybe it’s from the rage when a stranger confronts you.

Whatever the reason, Gentleness doesn’t matter about the source, it matters about the response.

And just in case you may be saying, “but you don’t understand my circumstance,” can I give you an example of pure meekness? Pure gentleness?

When He was hurled with insults, He didn’t respond.

When He had thorns dug into His head, He didn’t lash out.

When His own children drove the nails through His hands, He prayed they would be forgiven.

If ever a human being had a reason to put aside gentleness, Jesus did. He was the Creator of the Universe after all!!! He could have stopped it! He could have changed the situation! He could have yelled back, thrown back, punched back, spat back…but he didn’t. That, my friends, is our example of gentleness. Hardly a pansy view of it, don’t you think?   His ultimate power was kept under control—and the whole world eventually saw it.

With that, may I suggest we think teapot!

Yes, teapot.

Some pots are dainty and pretty and go with a set. Others are sturdy and solid and sit on the stove waiting to be used. But, both have the same job. Both are made to handle a belly full of hot water. Yet, both have a similar weakness. When the insides reach their boiling point, all of the energy escapes. It loses its effectiveness.

C. Norman Bartlett summed it up in a quote:

[clickToTweet tweet=”“Steam does the most work when it makes the least noise.” c.norman bartlett” quote=”“Steam does the most work when it makes the least noise.””]

If you struggle with this like I do, whether your steam-blowing is big or small, we have to ask for that precious gift of gentleness—continually—always. I have to admit I hadn’t made it a priority in my prayer life. The prayers only came at times when I needed it. But I’m changing that. Let’s not wait friends! Let’s build up the inner belly with the power of gentleness. Pray for it daily, whether you need it or not.  Let’s build up the fruit of the Spirit inside, so what comes out of us is more Christ-like than human-like.   We have the power, we have the strength—let’s use it under control as it was meant to be.

3 Replies

  1. Lori perez

    Wow that one is good. My gentleness has gone out the window to many times. Thanks for reminding us that it does come in different forms. Reading how our Lord showed His gentleness w as powerful.

  2. Jan

    Thank you! I needed this today as I have been struggling with my temper and a teenage son.

    1. You’re welcome Jan! Teenagers can do it to a person–most certainly! Don’t kick yourself too hard, perfection will come much later–for now, we give it our all and pray like the dickens. It’s that daily quest to let the Spirit fill us, first.

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