Saturday, June 21, 2014

Fruit of the Spirit-Gentleness

“Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised!” Matthew 5:5
Gentleness is also translated as humility and meekness in the GNT version and the AMP version respectively. Gentleness is not only a trait that women should work towards (1 Peter 3:4) but also a virtue that men should possess and it’s mentioned twice in one book-1 Tim. 3:3 and 6:11.
I believe being humble also means to be submissive to others, especially those in authority that God has put over us. Titus 3:1-2 says ‘Remind your people to submit to rulers and authorities, to obey them, and to be ready to do good in every way. Tell them not to speak evil of anyone, but to be peaceful and friendly, and always to show a gentle attitude toward everyone.’ This is repeated again in Philippians 4:5, word for word: ‘Show a gentle attitude toward everyone.’
God wants us to be gentle when we answer others or help them. 1 Peter 3:15-16: ‘But have reverence for Christ in your hearts, and honor him as Lord. Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you, but do it with gentleness and respect. Keep your conscience clear so that when you are insulted, those who speak evil of your good conduct as followers of Christ will become ashamed of what they say.’ When we help others or correct them when they are doing wrong, it should be done ‘in a gentle way’ (Gal. 6:1). 1 Timothy 2:24b-25 says ‘You must be kind toward all, a good and patient teacher, who is gentle as you correct your opponents, for it may be that God will give them the opportunity to repent and come to know the truth.’ All should know we are God’s children by the way we act and talk to others. If someone finds out you’re a Christian and they’re surprised by that, then you need to change your ways!
Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:29 that He is ‘gentle and humble in spirit’ and since we should emulate Him, we should be humble and gentle in our spirits as well. ‘Because he was humble and devoted, God heard him.’(Heb. 5:7) If we are humble and devoted to God, willing to follow Him wherever He wants to lead us, then He will hear us when we cry out to Him and ‘will lift [us] up’. (James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6) We will be the ‘greatest in the Kingdom of heaven’ when we humble ourselves like children or servants (Matt. 18:4, 20:26-28, 23:12). So we should ‘submit to God and accept the word that he plants in [our] hearts’ for our own salvation (James 1:21).
God wants us to be humble, never proud or boastful. James 4:6 and 16 tells us that ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’ (also says that in 1 Peter 5:5) and that ‘boasting is wrong.’ Romans 12:16 tells us ‘not to be proud but accept humble duties.’ So we shouldn’t be proud in our spirits or in our daily lives or jobs. We shouldn’t think of ourselves ‘more highly’ than we really are and should always judge ourselves on the ‘amount of faith that God has given’ to each of us (Romans 12:3).
“So then, submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will run away from you.” James 4:7

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