Monday, February 19, 2007

Gentleness

"A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth." 2 Timothy 2:24,25

Quite often when we are put in a position of leadership, the strong persona comes out. Sometimes, this is necessary, as in a workplace environment where a strong, assertive attitude is necessary. Not so within the church. Becoming a leader within a church atmosphere, whether by choice or appointment, means that an attitude change may be necessary. Thankfully, we have an excellent example in Jesus as to the attitude we are to assume.

Jesus was gentle and meek and he called his followers to have those attitudes as well. Here is Matthew 5:5:

"God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth."

And here in Matthew 11:29 he gives another example:

"Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

Jesus taught with love and kindness, he was gentle with his instruction. We see Paul's own advice to those who have been given responsibility in 2 Timothy 2:24 and 25 at the top of the page today. Paul also gave instruction to the Philippians and the Corinthians regarding how they are to behave.

"Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near." Philippians 4:5

"Now I, Paul, appeal to you with the gentleness and kindness of Christ" 2 Corinthians 10:1

Gentleness and meekness are not weakness! It takes great strength to teach God's truths and love amid much opposition. But we need to remember to exercise that strength with meekness and gentleness. "The Lord's servants must not quarrel and be kind to everyone." We must be kind to everyone- even when we disagree. Jesus and Paul were both excellent examples of gentleness, we can ask God to help us be more like them when faced with the trials of leadership.

Gentleness also happens to be one of the fruits of the spirit, and that is the direction I am heading for a week or so (or longer). I'm going to do a little study on each fruit of the spirit as found in Galations 5:22-23. After I've hit them all once, I'll see if I want to dig deeper.

"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!"


2 comments:

Claire said...

I pray daily that gentleness is one of the things God develops in me. II Peter 3: 3-4 say that we should make our beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit that is of great worth in God's sight! that is what I pray each day. I think when we are gentle it comes through in our actions as much more than that.

Erika said...

Yes, I think you're right Claire. When I really think on gentleness and how it appears in a physical nature... i think it comes across as compassion and love, and that can speak volumes to someone.