Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Gentleness


A devotional by Allison M. Wilson

Key Scripture: 
Galatians 5:22-23, Psalm 18:35, Colossians 3:12, James 3:13, Galatians 6:1 (NASB)

When you hear the word meek, what do you think?

The misuse of this word to mean weak has caused a lot of confusion over the years. Meek, by definition in the Scriptures, means, “strength in control,” based on Strong’s Concordance. 

We’re told that Christ was meek, and we know He was not weak! So, what does meek have to do with gentleness? Everything. Look at Psalm 18:35. We don’t think of gentleness as something that makes us great, do we?

We are told in Colossians 3:12 to put on, “…a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,” as chosen ones of God. In James 3:13, it says that good behavior is shown in deeds of gentleness and wisdom. 

Gentleness and meekness are very intertwined in the Word (The Holy Bible). We don’t always think of gentleness as anything more than a light touch, like we would care for a baby, but it’s so much more. It’s how we treat one another, believer or non-believer. It’s also a sign of how we have allowed the Spirit to work in our lives. We cannot be gentle without the Spirit doing the work in us.

Gentle people draw others in. When you know someone who is a gentle soul, you know that they are unlikely to be hurtful, cruel, or a gossip. They just don’t want others to be damaged by anything they do. That has a lot to do with mercy, I believe, which is another manifestation of God’s work in a person’s life. We are called to be gentle in how we talk to other believers when the Lord calls us to speak into their life. 

The Bible has been used as a weapon by too many of God’s children against God’s children. That goes completely away from what Christ teaches us in Galatians 6:1. The term “Bible thumper” comes to mind when I think of someone who beats people over the head with the Word, expecting them to want to follow Christ after the “beating.” That’s not gentleness, and certainly not how Jesus drew others to Himself.

Gentleness does not mean ignoring sin. It may be that God tells you not to speak about a sin in someone’s life, but rather to pray. God knows what each of us needs, and sometimes that is just His voice speaking into a situation. Other times, He may call you to speak. Be sure you have done what Galatians 6:1 says, though!

Humility and gentleness go hand in hand. To be humble simply means to think less of yourself than of others. That doesn’t mean you think poorly of yourself. God certainly doesn’t! Honoring others above yourself is the hallmark of humility. That takes a laying down of our pride. In order to do that, you have to have taken up the righteousness of Christ. You have to have laid down your filthy rags of the flesh to be clothed with Christ.

Can you see how the progression from love to joy to peace to patience to kindness to goodness to faithfulness to gentleness has worked in your life? This pattern of His growth into the image of Christ is amazing to see unfold. We’re likely going to go through the process many times in our life as God grows us into a more perfect picture of Jesus. Each time you learn more of His Love, the cycle continues to take off the parts of the flesh that have held us back. 

Aren’t you thankful God lets us do this a little at a time over our life with Him? I truly am!

Let’s Pray:
Heavenly Daddy, May Your gentleness seen through me draw others to You. I want my life to be such a reflection of Who YOU are that they don’t see me at all. Let Your Son shine through as a beacon of hope for a dark world. Show me how to love, gently, as You love us. In the Name of Christ I pray, Amen.

Author Bio:

A very early reader and lover of the written word, Allison M. Wilson has been writing since the age of eight with the heart to impart stories and God's truth. 

She has judged countless contests for the last 25 years, reviewed for several online publications, professionally edited, and written articles and devotionals.

Wife, mother, writer, editor, teacher, mentor, and mompreneur, God keeps her busy while living in east central Florida with her family.

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