Gentleness (Prov. 15:1; Isa. 40:11; 42:2-3; Philp. 4: 5; Matt. 5:5; 11:29; 12:15; Galatians 5:22-23; Eph. 4:1-2; Col. 3:16; 2 Timothy 2:24; 1 Thessalonians 2:7); is the character that will show calmness, personal care, tenderness and the Love of Christ in meeting the needs of others. It is to be more than just a personality; it is to be who we are from the work of the Sprit within us.
Roughness and violence are the opposite! When we have the mindset to just see what we can get out of life and make a name for ourselves we miss out on what is best for our benefit. Then it causes us to run over others and we end up being like the men who built the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9). Their downfall was not the building project but the pride and arrogance. To seek significance outside of glorifying God by their achievements alone, ignoring God's love, care, plan, and providence for a cheap and temporary substitute.
Gentleness is not being weak, as with meekness, gentleness is strength under control. It allows us to be tender, just think how big and vast and powerful God is, who is bigger than the universe, who transcends space and time way beyond our comprehension. Yet, He treats us with the utmost of tenderness and care. Knowing gentleness is trusting that God will take care of justice, thus we need to think correctly about who God is and who we are in Him. This understanding of His sovereignty, doctrine and control will move us from the hurriedness of life and the cruelty that goes with it to take the time with relationships, growth because we are at peace with God.
Gentleness allows us to be caring and nurturing to others. It helps us stay calm and not escalate problems or push people's buttons! To build others up, by allowing them to grow. It places the other first, it is being selfless. As attracting people to you who could use a listening ear or help, at the very least to hear and the most important thing we can do for others is offering our friendship. When we are too full of pride, we cannot be gentle with others; we cannot be a friend, for all we will do is hurt them and push them away. We can look to Jesus who modeled ultimate gentleness and care. Being fully God He does not have to be gentle, yet He takes to time to nurture others even when they make mistakes and fail. He helps them up and puts them back together; He will do this with you too. But you have to allow Him to form you. This character must continue to function in a society that does not see its importance, care for perceived limitations or think it is weak. But when others need an ear to listen they do not go to the ones filled with pride they go to someone who is gentle! Will that be you?
- What can I do to develop a better attitude of Gentleness?
- What blocks Gentleness from working and being exhibited in me?
- How can I make Gentleness function better, stronger and faster even in times of uncertainly and stress?
- How would you define Gentleness?
- What are the things that cause you to be rough and course with others?
- How does being rough counteract Gentleness?
- Are you aware of the intricacy and delicacy of life, so you are tender too? Are you approachable?
- When have you been filled with Gentleness the most?
- In what situation did you fail to have Gentleness in which you should have?
- What issue is in your life that would improve with more Gentleness?
- Think through the steps you need to take to put Gentleness into action in a specific instance. Such as how does God's tenderness toward you affect the way you go about your life to get things done? Does His care affect the way you care with humility and gentleness being tender in spite of people treating you like a doormat?
· Here are positive examples from Scripture (Isa. 40:11; 42:1-3; Matt. 11:28-29; Luke 7:36-50; 10:38-42; John 8: 1-11; I Thess. 2:7-8)
· Here is are negative examples from Scripture (Nub. 20:2-13; II Sam. 18:10-15; 19:1-8; I Kings 21: 5-14; Luke 9:51-56)
© 2002, Richard J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership, www.churchleadership.org