About the Author

Michelle Reyes, Ph.D., is an Indian American pastor’s wife, writer, and activist. She is the Vice President of the Asian American Christian Collaborative and writes regularly on faith, culture, and justice. Michelle lives in Austin, TX with her husband and two kids. Follow her on IG @michelleamireyes.

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  1. This is most excellent advice—I truly pray that when others read it, they will take it to heart if needed. I have been in situations where yelling and verbal abuse have been the norm. How did that effect me? I became a door mat. I was beaten down verbally so low that I felt I was nothing. I was a Christian, but Jesus speaks soft and gently. The loudness almost drowned Him out.
    I had to become strong in Christ again to become my own person and deal with the situation.

    • Hi Betsy, thanks for your willingness to share some of your story. I’m sorry for what you went through. And I completely agree — yelling at people only shuts them down. “Jesus speaks soft and gently.” May we be more and more like Jesus.

  2. Michelle,

    I so enjoyed reading this beautiful piece this morning, and in your encouragement toward gentleness, I sense such strength. So often we equate “gentle” with “weak,” but that is far from the truth! Gentleness requires restraint and purposefulness, doesn’t it? Thank you for sharing a timely and important message. xoxo

    • That’s so good, Robin! In gentleness, there truly is a quiet strength. It takes self-control and wisdom to know when to speak and how. Thanks for sharing that. May we all journey a little closer toward gentleness today <3

  3. Michelle, you have spoken Jesus’ truths into my heart! I am in desperate need of learning the gentle tone of asking questions! Thank you for sharing this! Blessings on blessings on you!

    • Thank you, Ruth — and me too! No matter how well-intended our statements or questions are, if they are not conveyed with gentleness, we won’t have the effect we were hoping. I’ve learned that it is best to just stay silent until I can speak in a gentle way.

  4. What a reminder and refresher for each and everyone of us. Beautifully written. Thank you. Blessings ❣️

    • Thank you, Barb! I wish I didn’t need to be reminded daily to be gentle, but I do! It’s an intentional choice we need to make every day. Many blessings to you today.

  5. Your reflection and suggestions hold such value. I will be rereading, using, and sharing these ways of working towards peaceful and positive discussions. Thanks!

    • Praise God! I’m so glad this article encouraged you, Kathleen. Those practices are things I’m reminding myself of today, especially affirming the good.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing. Truly needed so often we do come across harshly when the message can be more powerful when presented gently

  7. Thank you for these wise words. To be like Jesus in this way is counterintuitive..as my flesh will flash to anger so quickly. This hit the mark for me and I pray for Him to work through me for change and healing .

  8. Hello

    These Words are so so True!
    There is to much noise in
    The World!
    Jesus softly & tenderly is calling
    Us to be kind to each other….
    Thank you for reminding us
    Of this.

    Sandy

  9. Thank you for this article. I love the Colossians 4:5-6 verse about conversation being full of grace and seasoned with salt, which to me means we should be characterized by gracious speech, but with just a little bit of spice, flavoring, and thought-provoking words. That is my goal. Thank you also for the reminder to ask questions. My tendency is to rush to an answer instead of asking for more information.

  10. Thank you for this. There are things going on in my life right now and reading this today will make me pause before responding.

  11. There is a balance somewhere; we also need “you’re keeping others out of the kingdom and you yourselves refuse to enter” and “you brood of vipers” and whatnot (and “you’re right that you don’t have a husband at this time; you’ve had stacks of husbands and the man you have now is not your husband”). But yes: mostly, questions, statements, gentleness. Truth+love will sometimes be “nice” and sometimes not be “nice” – but mostly I’m replying with this because I was brought up to be more nice than loving (Christian Good Girl: if everyone’s placated, you’ve done the right things, even if it took bad cover-ups, and frankly the church needs to prioritize *not sinning* higher than *placating people*). And I want to note, for everyone who feels that making people face down the fact they’re sinning is never the right way for anyone to go, that Jesus brought people face to face with their sin, too (but with “now go and leave your life of sin” – there is hope wherever there is repentance!).

    (but mostly: gentleness. Just, seasoned with salt as necessary. Don’t forget the salt!)

  12. I agree. Lord God help me display more Christlike Gentleness in my in my Words & whole Conversations. Remembering my Goal isn’t victory at any cost! Amen.

  13. Michelle thank you for what you wrote. It so true when we live in the world we do. With so many people with hate in their hearts. They are all about why should I. It’s my life I live it my way. That sad people think like that. We have especially if saved. Show we are different. Show the love of Jesus to all people. Not judge them for feeling the way they do. If it caused by hate or they say why should I especially of something happened in their life too make them this way. We are to show the Gentleness of Jesus Love to them. Show they can change and see it in their hearts to forgive. If someone has hurt them for the way react. Tell them if saved in a nice way what Jesus would want them to do it as it says in his word to forgive. Jesus showed Gentleness to all people when on earth that he came in contact with. Jesus show them love. If we want to change the world saved and unsaved people. Make the world a better place we have to do as Jesus did when alive. Show the saved especially. If we can they will listen. Have to put what causing them to be like they are behind them and put it into the hands of Jesus in prayer. Ask him to help them chance not be the way they are. Be the people God intended them to be. Loving kind and caring. To people of all walks of life. Even if the way they feal is over something someone did or said to them. Let it go and forgive that person. As Jesus would want them to do that. Thoes not saved. Just show them the Love and Gentleness of Jesus. Be a friend to them. Show you are different than the person or things that causing them to be the way they are. Like Jesus did with the Sinful woman in Luke 7:36-50. This woman before she was forgiven by Jesus. She washed his feet with her hairs and tears. She showed loved and Gentleness to Jesus. All the people there that day didn’t they ran her down in front of Jesus instead of showing kindness and gentleness to her. In front of Jesus. No matter what her sins were. It was not up to them to judge her for her wrong. They were sinners themselves. Like we all are before we came to know Jesus as our Savior. They should have been showing her Gentleness and the Love of Jesus. Trying to help her. Not judge her. In this story in our Bibles we see Jesus had compassion and gentleness in his heart for her. Jesus told them all their faults. Not like this woman she anointed Jesus head with oil. Jesus said you did not anoint my head with oil. They did care about the woman. They cared about their own needs didn’t show kindness and gentleness. Not even to Jesus or the woman. So in Jesus kindness and gentleness. He told the woman her sins that were many are forgiven. Jesus showed her gentleness and kindness in all this. He didn’t judge her for her sins. We got to do the same. As we got to remember before we got saved we were sinners to. Jesus so his gentleness and kindness plus Love my forgiving us. Welcoming us in his wonderful family. When we got saved. Keeping you all incourage in prayer . Xx

  14. Wise advice, indeed, Michelle! Gentle questions can keep the conversation going in a positive direction. Force turns discussion into arguing or shuts the other person down. Lord, help me remember to lead with gentle questions!

  15. MIchelle,

    This world is loud & boisterous. They shout their opinions & demand to be heard. What really needs to happen is people should talk less & listen more. Give others a chance to have their say. Then you can have your come back. Asking questions is a good conversation starter. Holley Gerth wrote an In Courage post where she stated use these seven (7) words to diffuse disagreements: “Can you help me understand?” and “What else?” Those & other questions will get conversations started. They allow people to share the reasons behind their opinions. Maybe we can all understand each other better.

    Blessings 🙂

  16. Yes! Agree completely. Gentle answers (or perhaps questions!) can turn aside wrath. Working towards connection and understanding can still take place even when we hold different views. Nobody wants to get beat up – with the truth or otherwise. Thank you.

  17. Heartwarming, wise words. Thanks for sharing this.

    “… The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity.” James 3:17 RSV Bible