There are at least 5 distinct calls in Scripture for us to be Gentle.
Have you ever checked your cell phone because you thought someone was calling you? It didn’t really ring, but you check it anyway? Or maybe it was in your pocket and you thought you felt that gentle vibration. But that’s strange, because it wasn’t on silent. But you had to check it anyway… Yeah, I’m asking for a friend.
It’s sad that we rarely miss a call on our phones – and may even imagine a call that isn’t really there, but so many Christians miss out on 5 calls to lead a Gentle life.
Pursue a Gentle Life-
Ephesians 4:1-3 is very clear about gentleness as part of our calling: “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Paul puts it second after humility. When you consider that Paul was hunting down Christians until his conversion, the fact that he places such high regard on gentleness is significant. He repeats this charge in 1 Tim. 6:11-12, “But you, man of God, run from these things, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life that you were called to have made a good confession about in the presence of many witnesses.”
Teach with a Gentle Manner –
In 2 Tim. 2:24-25, Paul goes ever further. He tells Timothy that teaching the unsaved about Christ with gentleness can lead to a life altering salvation experience: “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.” And verse 26 reminds us just what is at stake: “And they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” We are not in a battle with flesh and blood, friend. There should be an urgency, yes. But it should be tempered with gentleness through the Holy Spirit.
A Great Inheritance for the Gentle-
Some people fear gentleness. They don’t want to be walked all over by anyone. But gentleness doesn’t mean “doormat.” A well-trained horse can be gentle. It is strength that has been harnessed and is under control. Christ Himself tells us that if we grow his characteristic, we will be blessed. And our reward is so amazing: (Matt. 5:5) “The gentle are blessed, for they will inherit the earth.”
Practical Gentleness –
There is a practical side to a life led in a state of gentleness. We see in Prov. 15:1 that our gentle behavior influences those around us: “A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.” And Peter places this one personal quality above the value of gold and jewels in 1 Peter 3:3-4, “Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes. Instead, it should consist of what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes.”
Called to Pray for Gentleness –
Finally, we are called to pray to have a spirit of gentleness. May your prayer and mine be this from Deut. 32:2-3, “Let my teaching fall like rain and my word settle like dew, like gentle rain on new grass and showers on tender plants. For I will proclaim Yaweh’s name. Declare the greatness of our God!”