First Baptist Church Laredo
9-1-19 - First Sunday Fellowship - Gentleness
- 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.So far, we have looked at love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. This month, we are going to look at a fruit of the Spirit which maybe the least thought of virtue in the Christian life, especially these days.12 Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,This month in our Bible Studies, we will consider the fruit of gentleness.George Bethune said, “Perhaps no grace is less prayed for, or less cultivated than gentleness. Indeed it is considered rather as belonging to natural disposition or external manners, than as a Christian virtue; and seldom do we reflect that not be gentle is sin.”How do you define gentleness?It is a hard word to define. Billy Graham defined gentleness as“mildness in dealign with others…It displays a sensitive regard for others and is careful never to be unfeeling for the rights of others.”Gentleness is an active trait. It is not simply passive. It describes the manner is which we should treat others. It recognizes that humans are fragile and should be handled with care.God is described as gentle.11 He protects his flock like a shepherd; he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them in the fold of his garment. He gently leads those that are nursing.Gentleness should not be confused with weakness of character. To be gentle is to be strong and confident. Someone who is harsh, undisciplined, and rude demonstrates a weakness of character. It takes strength of character to be truly gentle. Gentleness is about being sensitive to the rights and feelings of others. Gentleness is “other-centeredness”.Jesus is described as gentle.1 Now I Paul, myself, appeal to you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble among you in person but bold toward you when absent.28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”People are at rest around a Christian who is truly gentle.20 He will not break a bruised reed, and he will not put out a smoldering wick, until he has led justice to victory.The bruised reed and smoldering wick refers to people who are hurting, people who are spiritually weak, or of little faith. Jesus dealt gently which people who weak. He didn’t condemn them. He dealt with them gently until they were open to him for help.Who did Jesus not treat gently? Why?He treated the Samaritan woman gently. He treated Nicodemus gently. He treated Zaccheus was treated gently. He did not treat gently those who brought harm to the people, those who lied to the people, those who mistreated people.Developing gentlenessDevelop gentleness by being sensitive to others opinions and ideas.We should not be so strongly opinionated or dogmatic that others are afraid to express their ideas and opinions in our presence. Avoid blunt speech and abruptness. Answer people with sensitivity and respect. As much as is possible, show consideration to everyone.Develop gentleness by demonstrating respect for the personal dignity of others.People should not feel threatened by opposition or resent those who oppose them. Don’t degrade, belittle, or gossip about someone who has fallen into sin. Grieve for them and pray for them.5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.“Graciousness” can also be translated as “gentleness”. In other words, Jesus is watching how you treat people.Develop gentleness by asking, “What is best for this person?”Develop gentleness by asking, “How do others see me?”Have you ever asked someone you know and trust how others perceive you? Do you seek to dominate others with your presence and personality? Do people feels judged by you or loved by you?I want to speak to guys for a moment. I think this fruit of the Spirit maybe especially hard for guys. Manliness and gentleness do go together. This is not just for moms and wives. We actually used to use the term “gentleman”, literally a gentle man. There was a code of conduct of how you treated women, the language you used, and the way you conducted yourself. I think we need to rediscover what it means to truly be a gentleman. You can be tough and tender. You can be tough on yourself. A protector of the ones who need protection and tender on others. Fathers, teach your sons to be gentlemen. If you don’t know what it means to be a gentleman, learn yourself and then teach your sons.All of us need to ask the Holy Spirit to make us aware of specific situations in which we fail to act with gentleness.Introduce Bible Study Teachers.If you do not have a Bible Study that you attend, fill out one of the cards or go and meet one of the teachers; they will be standing in the back as you exit.
2 Corinthians 10:1CSB
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