You cannot win enemies to Christ, only your friends. People won’t trust Jesus until they trust you. No one gains trust or makes friends unless they are gentle.
The third “be attitude” in the Bible is found in Matthew 5:6. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Another translation says, “God blesses those who are GENTLE. The whole earth will belong to them” [emphasis added]. Very important to give both of these translations because often we relate the word “meek” with “weak,” but “meek” is actually a synonym for the word “gentle.”
The subject of today’s post is gentleness. The only two people in the Bible who were described as “gentle” were Jesus and Moses. Even though Moses was gentle, we all know that Moses early on had an “anger management” problem. We see God do amazing work in Moses while in the desert.
Jesus describes Himself as gentle in Matthew 11:29, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and LEARN from me. For I AM GENTLE, and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” [emphasis added]. All throughout Scripture we visibly see “LIVED out LOUD,” by Jesus, His gentleness.
Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the SPIRIT is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, GENTLENESS, and self-control” [emphasis added]. So what do we learn from what we have read so far? “GENTLENESS IS AN INSIDE JOB!”
Look at the definition of gentleness…strength under control…bottled for God’s use. A simple illustration: a wild horse and a tame horse both have the same STRENGTH. The wild one can’t be used effectively–no control. But the TAME, gentle horse can be used VERY EFFECTIVELY by its trainer. The Holy Spirit trains us in gentleness. We have to seek God. Listen to Him. Filter everything through Him….and DO WHAT GOD says, not our flesh.
I want to share eight benefits from allowing the Holy Spirit to manifest the fruit of the Spirit of gentleness in your life.
1. Gentleness defuses conflict. Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.” So if your boss, or your child, or your parent, or your preacher, yells at you, look at Ecclesiastes 10:4, “If your boss is angry with you don’t quit. A quiet GENTLE spirit can over come even great mistakes” [emphasis added].
Don’t own someone else’s anger…don’t do it!
2. Gentleness disarms critics! Do nothing, say nothing and be nothing and you will never be criticized. The more you do…and be…the more criticism you will incur. So if you want to be and do and live Ephesians 2:10 by being busy fulfilling God’s created purpose, then you must live 1 Corinthians 4:13, “We respond GENTLY when evil things are said about us” [emphasis added].
I have also been told if someone hurts you, they are below you. If you get even, you are only even with them. If you respond “GENTLY,” it puts you above them in being pleasing to God.
3. Gentleness is persuasive! Proverbs 25:15b, “…GENTLE speech breaks down rigid defenses.” Or another translation says, “Patience and GENTLE talk can convince a ruler and overcome ANY problem” [emphasis added on both]. I love this Scripture in Proverbs 16:21, “A wise, mature person is known for understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more PERSUASIVE he is” [emphasis added]. Wow, just wow!!
One to tweet: “I am never persuasive when I am abrasive.”
4. Gentleness is attractive! Just read the love story of Boaz and Ruth in the Bible and the “gentleness of Boaz”. Read 1 Timothy 6:11, “…As a man of God pursue what God approves of, Godliness, faith, love, endurance and GENTLENESS” [emphasis added]. And in 1 Peter 3:4 it encourages women to “have a GENTLE AND quiet spirit.”
5. Gentleness communicates love. Colossians 3:19, “Husbands love your wives, do not be harsh with them.” The opposite of harsh is gentle. In Ephesians 6:4 it teaches to not exasperate your children. In other words, be GENTLE.
6. Gentleness earns respect. Proverbs 11:6, “A woman of GENTLE grace will be respected” [emphasis added]. A good example, Mother Teresa. She was gentle. She could command the world, not with money nor status…nor with appearance…but with GENTLENESS.
7. Gentleness is a witness to unbelievers. To lead others to Christ and fulfill the Great Commission is to “live out loud” in front of others. If people LIKE what they SEE, then they are likely to LISTEN to what you say! Not vice versa!!! Therefore it is very easy for me to be around others who do not believe what I believe biblically, socially, politically or morally. It is my GREATEST OPPORTUNITY for CHRIST to overflow in and out of me…to love, respect, while NOT COMPROMISING what I believe.
The best way I can lead others to Christ is by “loving people where they are while not compromising my actions but allowing my actions to be the light of Christ!” GENTLENESS can only be achieved…as the Holy Spirit flows in these situations.
8. Gentleness makes me like Jesus. As noted above…Jesus said…”I am gentle”.
Ask God this week to help you in three areas:
1. When someone serves me, be understanding, not demanding.
2. When someone disagrees with me, be TENDER without SURRENDER.
3. When someone disappoints you, be GENTLE, not judgmental.
Three great steps…of action…to live out loud and allow the HOLY SPIRIT to manifest Gentleness in your life! Blessings to you and pray for me as I seek to be more gentle…thus more like Jesus. I, too, am a work in progress.