Firm and Bold Gentleness
1 Timothy 6:11-12
2 Corinthians 10:1 By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away!
This portion of fruit – gentleness- sounds like a weak fruit, doesn’t it? But from our verses we can tell that it isn’t a weakness but a quiet strength. In fact the definition says it is the quality of kind, tender or mild-mannered.
Quiet strength is exactly what we need sometimes to be kind. Not everyone is easy to be kind to. Remember how Jesus dealt with the religious leaders? He didn’t cower because He was to be gentle, instead He remained firm and bold with the truth. He wasn’t afraid to debate the issues with them because He had truth on His side and He knew that the disciples needed His example of how to be gentle but not weak.
Why do you we equate gentleness with weakness? There seems to be a stigma, especially for men, about being gentle. Society has adopted this image promoting the removal of any signs of weakness. We are to be tough, even callus, so that no one can take advantage of us. But is that what Jesus exemplified?
It is so easy to be like the world around us. So easy to adopt their persona of toughness so that we don’t become an easy target. But did the religious leaders of Jesus day see Him as an easy target? No, they saw Him more as dangerous to their agenda. His manner of being able to handle the truth firmly, with a bold strength of gentleness drew people to Him and caused the leaders to fear losing the control they had come to enjoy.
Gentleness is unnerving to the tough guys because they don’t understand the strength that isn’t pushy. When someone is used to using force it is hard to learn the art of persuasion. The gentleness of Jesus is the perfect example for us. He was firm and bold with pure gentleness. Loved by many and feared by many in leadership. He was gentle enough children were drawn to Him and firm enough that He wasn’t taken advantage of until the time had come for Him to show His ultimate surrender to the glory of God. Gentleness isn’t timidity, it is a strength, a strong undercurrent that helps you stand boldly for the God of the Universe.
Making It Personal
How do you feel you rate on the gentleness scale? Do you have anyone in your circle of friends who seems to exemplify gentleness? How has God shown you gentleness?
Making It Personal Kids
What would it look like to show someone gentleness? Has anyone ever shown you gentleness? How can you show gentleness to someone today?
Father, thank You for being the perfect example of gentleness. Give us the strength to live out gentleness with those around us so that You are worshiped for who You are. In Jesus’ name, amen.