Isn’t this just a wonderful subject to start out the year with? Gentleness!
A gentle person is considerate and has a kind disposition; is not harsh or severe but amiable and tender. Some other descriptions can be docile, submissive, meek, obedient… If we make this our New Year’s Resolution we’re off to a good start.
I have chosen 1 Timothy 6:11 to highlight this first week of 2013, making it my resolution to “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” I’m beginning at the end and I will write about one of these virtues every day of this week.
Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit. With God’s help we can have this fruit in our life.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
We’re usually concerned about the clothes we put on. We make sure we’re clean and presentable when we go to work. That’s for our outer person. Are we as concerned about what we clothe our inner man with? The Apostle Paul gave us a list of those clothes, and among them is gentleness.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with:
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
How about the food? Many make themselves a sandwich to take to work for lunch. Here is an interesting “sandwich” of another kind!
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Gentleness sandwiched between rejoicing in the Lord and not being anxious about anything. That is a recipe for a wonderful year!
Here are some more scriptures on gentleness:
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace
1 Peter 3:13-16
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
Here is a special word for us women. Instead of costly jewelry we should adorn ourselves with the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.
1 Peter 3:3-4
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
Is it possible to keep this resolution? Our King Jesus has given us the example and he will help us.
“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.
I challenge you, my friend, to be with me on this. I have chosen to make this year a “Journey of JOY” and my first step on this journey is the resolution to pursue gentleness, as in follow, chase, practice, go after, live out, perform, observe. You get the picture, right?
Let’s live out and practice gentleness!