60 Seconds – GentlenessAuthor: Dave Arnold
A rather frail woman was married to a lumberman. They had five sons, all engaged in the same business. When she was asked how she made her soft voice heard above the roars of her husband and five sons, she replied, “It’s very easy. I whisper.”
In 1 Thessalonians 2:7, Paul states, “We were gentle among you.” In the Amplified Bible, this verse reads, “But we behaved gently when we were among you, like a devoted mother nursing and cherishing her own children.” The word “gentle,” in the original Greek, means “to be affable, mild or kind.” Greek writers frequently used this word to characterize a nurse with crying children, or a teacher with difficult pupils. This word describes a nursing mother.
In Philippians 4:5, we read, “Let your gentleness be known to all men.” David Jeremiah, in his book God In You wrote, “I’ve had coaches over the years who would jump down your throat for the slightest mistake, who never had a positive word to say about any effort, any sacrifice. Christian, where do you get that stuff? The Bible says you are to be gentle and kind. Yes, you can still be firm when you need to be firm, but you can do that in a godly way. The Bible says we are to lead people, not bully or threaten them, the way the world does. The world, of course, has its own methods for squeezing work out of people. But our Lord very clearly tells us, ‘It shall not be so among you’ (Matthew 20:26). We are supposed to be different.”
David’s son Absalom rebelled against and humiliated his father. Yet David instructed his field commanders to “deal gently” with him (2 Samuel 18:5). A distinguished judge said he had seen hundreds of juvenile offenders and their parents brought before his court. Yes, never once in all those years had he seen a parent touch a youngster, or put his arm around his shoulder, or show any physical sign of affection. Contrast this with the father of the prodigal son who fell on his son’s neck and kissed him.
“The self-sacrificing love of Christ, His humility, meekness, and gentleness, manifested in daily life, are the most perfect fruit of the Spirit. They are the true proof that a man is spiritual” (Andrew Murray).