Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Chapter 2- Gentleness


$            $  Galatians 5:22-26 and Colossians 3:12

         When studying gentleness we should also take a deeper look and go further into a study on Humility.

Gentleness: Kind, amiable; not harsh, stern, or violent; the act of being refined.
Refined: courteous, generous, honorable, patient; not harsh or rough. To refine is to make something free of impurities or waste matter.
    Gentleness is one of the fruits that is the most challenging to practice and, I think, to really deeply understand.  Gentleness takes a lot of self-control, and in a world that is far from being gentle (or possessing self-control) it is hard to know what gentleness looks like.  This world is an in-your-face sorta world, it consists of people who aren’t willingto take the time to be (or who maybe don’t even know how to be) gentle.  Who don’t know how to be patient and honorable with no sternness or roughness.  This world promotes self-indulgences and demanding that you be given all that “you deserve” it promotes people who just take and not worry about themselves.  Now don’t hear me wrong it is important to take care of yourself and not be walked all over, but where do we draw the line? I think we forget to draw a line when it comes to taking care of and becoming self-indulged in a way that we live a life where we start every conversation with ‘I’ and that it is always about ‘me.’  Gentleness is the complete opposite of sternness, it is humble, yet firm.  What is the difference between firmness and sternness?

Being stern is: severe(marked by strictness and causing stress) and stout (forceful and violent).
Being firm is: Steadfast and solid, not subject to change or fluctuation.

     You see that the above words are different in this way, one is something that forces something into submission while the other is just steadfast in your own ways.  We are not called to force people into submission, but to guide people in a way that will help them understand and decide for themselves if they want to submit their lives to Christ.  We are all called to approach all people with love and gentleness (we will do a further study on love later), we are to “win” people over with love not “force” them like a terrorist forcing someone to say the lines they specially wrote for someone to get what they want.   Love cannot be achieved or transmitted without having gentleness; it is also received differently, love without gentleness receives the statement “what do you want from me” love with gentleness receives the statement “wow…you really mean that” or the question, “what can I do for you?”  This is what gentleness looks like:

Titus 3:1-8: (I am only going to write out verses 1 and 2, but please go on to read the rest it is just as important) Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.   
      Our gentleness will be shown through our submission to authority without complaint, or without our gossiping behind their back (speaking evil of someone),  being obedient, ready for what God wants us to do and what others need us to do.  Promoting peace and being humble.   The next verse describes how we are to feed our hearts as well, for as we studied in the last chapter about self-control.  What we feed our hearts is expressed through our mouths.  When reading this verse, please take a careful self evaluation and analyze.  I want you to act like you are doing spring cleaning in your heart and mind (and life) and think like this “what must go?” what is it that is holding you back from growing, what are you desperately holding onto because it is what makes you feel normal compared to everyone else or it makes you happy.  When you keep hold of something you know isn’t “completely” right, you are not giving your all to God.  Giving your all means every part of you, your life, your toys, you heart, your thoughts, your kids, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, your control! (YOUR EVERYTHING) When you let God drive that is when you give your utmost for his highest and that is when you are forever changed.  That is when your eyes are opened, wisdom is being poured into you from above, and you are bearing fruit!

Philippians 4: 8-9: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

James 3:17: But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

Peter3:3-4 :  Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Ephesians 4:1-3: I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling in which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.


  $ 1 Timothy 6:3-12
Humility: Not proud or haughty; meek and modest (not proud or self-seeking).  It is  Lowly.
The humble and contrite are always together in the Bible, you won’t ever find one without the other.
Contrite: Repentant, being sorrowful for sinners, one of conviction.

Humility is yielding to others, it is not letting yourself be puffed up or become full of yourself.  Its okay to be happy in our accomplishments, but not to become haughty or develop the attitude of “I’m better or more privileged than everyone else.”  We are called to be humble just as Christ was and is humble:

Philippians 2:3-8:  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also the interests of others.  Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robber to be equal to  God, but  he made himself of no reputation, taking the role of a bondservant, and coming in the  likeness of man.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even the death of the  cross.
Proverbs 27:2: Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger and not your own lips.
     It says in the Bible that the Lord recognizes the humble even in his high place, but the proud/haughty he knows from afar.  That seems to me that he is just like us, when a person is obnoxious in flaunting themselves we try to avoid them at all cost.  God sees them, but knows them from afar, he doesn’t find them to be someone who he can draw close to them…and how could he? They don’t seem to have room with all their fullness of self and pride.
Psalm 138:6: Though the Lord is on high, yet he regards the lowly; but the proud He knows from afar.
James 4:6: But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Isaiah 66:1-2: Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is My throne, and the earth My footstool.  Where is the house that you will build me?  And where is the place of My rest? For all those things My hand has made, and all those things exist.” Says the Lord.  ‘But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.’
      We must remember too that God does not measure us the way people around us measure us, he weighs us by our hearts condition.   So not only is it important to monitor what we feed into our heart because of how it is expressed through our mouths, but  it is important too because it is what God is looking at.  I know that I don’t like to hang out with people who’s attitude reflects and ugly heart, why would God want to watch and monitor a heart that is slugging around in mud.   It’s not pleasant, but God is the God of grace, patience, and love He sticks with us anyway because He sees the potential and hopes that we will answer his calling and beckoning.
Proverbs 16: 2: All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.
Proverbs 16: 18-19: Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.  Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide up the spoils with the proud.
There are many rewards and benefits for being humble not just for those around us, but for ourselves as well.  Wisdom and honor are given to those who are humble:
Proverbs 11:2: When pride comes, then comes shame, but with the humble is wisdom.
Proverbs 29:23: A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.
      With gentleness and humility come rewards of wisdom and honor, with those we are received by other people with joy and love.  Our testimonies are heightened when we are walking in the humility of Christ.  Give your utmost for his highest and other people will follow!

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