Be a Champion of Gentleness
December 16, 2011
It feels like every time I turn around I hear about terrible acts being done against one people group or another. I hear about funerals being picketed, murders, thefts, abusive husbands or fathers, mothers doing terrible things to their children. It happens over and over and over.
It breaks my heart to hear about these things. So many times an individual has power and instead of using that power or position for good and to help people, they use it to only further themselves. They no longer care about what they have to do or who they have to hurt as long as they get more power or they feel more powerful at the end of the day.
The problem is, those actions are never satisfying. They lead to more thirst for power and more people being harmed as a result of their actions. One more person has to be taken out, one more act of violence must happen so that these individuals can attempt of find security or a sense of purpose and power.
This is not how God has called us to act. God has a completely different idea in mind. We have now entered into Galatians 5:23 but let’s look at verse 22 as well, just as a refresher. “But the fruit of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, faithfulness, gentleness…”
Now there may be some guys who come across this list to find gentleness put in this list and thing “Great! They want me to become some sort of soft, pansy, man. No thank you that is not for me.” That is just not the case.
The opposite of gentleness as we looked at above, is to be driven by selfish ambition or envy. The person cannot get enough. There is always one more thing to achieve, one more person to knock out of the way so that I can be the best. It is completely selfish. There is no concern for any one else but yourself. “I’ve got to watch out for number one.”
This is quite a sad existence. It leaves the person constantly on edge and having to defend themselves. They have to be on the lookout for those who might take their power away. This is even the case in an abusive relationship. The abuser has to continue to abuse to keep the other feeling worthless. The abuser has to keep the abused from going and meeting with others so they will not find out and try to take his power away.
Gentleness on the other hand looks out for others. To be gentle is to consider the needs of others before your personal goals. It is okay to be goal driven and to want to keep climbing some sort of corporate ladder. But once reaching that goal becomes more important than human life, our motivations are wrong.
James 1:27 tells us that pure and undefiled religion is to take care of widows and orphans in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. As Christians we must be reaching out in humility and helping others.
We must not be afraid to roll up our sleeves and reach out the the hurting. We cannot be afraid to get a little dirty along the way. There is no job to small when it comes to helping the needs of others (especially their spiritual need for salvation). We are never to high up in the world to reach out the the most lowly of people.
Being gentle at heart does not mean we run around with flowers and hearts on our shirts and play gently on the acoustic guitar (If you do this that is fine, but it is not for everyone).
Being gentle means our hearts are soft for the hurting and the people we would consider the lowest. That hurt prompts us to action. We must help take care of others. We must help meet their needs.
Do not get so caught up in the busyness of our world that you forget to reach out and help others along the way. Find someone to show gentleness toward. If you know of others who are in harmful situations, show them gentleness instead.
Allow yourself to be like Jesus and reach out to the hurting. Be a champion of gentleness.
When is is most difficult to show gentleness? Why does gentleness often get such a bad name?