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Gentle does not mean weak!

12/27/2016

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.  (Gal 5:22-23)

The use of this word in the context of the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23, speaks of humility and forbearance.  Such a person would be comfortable and humble, without a judgmental spirit.  This fruit of the Spirit can be found in those who with quiet, unassuming natures consider helping others as natural as breathing.

You will find them tirelessly helping behind the scenes, possibly standing at the sink cleaning the dishes at a fund raising dinner, or standing at the serving line to provide a hot meal to the poor who line up for a free dinner.  You might see visiting prisons to freely give of their time to  those locked behind the prison walls.  Then there are the volunteers who work for the various hospice organizations, listening to and helping the families who are facing the death of a loved one.  These are just a few examples of thousands of ways the gentle tirelessly serve.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)

The world needs more of these gentle, yet strong, humble servants.  We need them more of them than we need leaders, whether in their workplace, their city, their states, or even their countries.  It is these humble servers who hold the hearts of the people and carry them with love.

be-a-light

Let God’s light shine through you!

Wherever these gentle servants of God are found, the world is a bit brighter, and the things of life seem to fall into place.  Why?  Because they are quietly filling the gaps of human life with whatever is needed, be it helping a person in need, putting extra time in at work to help keep the project on schedule, volunteering at a senior center, a hospital, or a community event., and so much more.  They are the glue that keeps life livable.

You can cut such a person off in traffic, and rather than hearing them cuss, or wave a one-finger wave, unknown to you, they are saying a prayer for your safety.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

You can pass them, speeding past on the berm of the highway, and rather that judge you as a jerk, they stop and consider the need that has caused you to do such a foolish thing, and once again turn to prayer on your behalf.

What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit? (1 Corinthians 4:21)

Yes, these people exist.  I just wish there were more of them.  As I grow in the Spirit, I find myself becoming, ever so slowly, one of these.  And as I grow in gentleness, I am filled with more peace and joy.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  (Matthew 11:29)

So, in closing, I pray that as the New Year approaches, each of you will also seek to grow in the fruit of the Spirit, especially gentleness.  We need you humbly, but strongly, purposefully, and with dedication, serving.

Some will wonder what makes you tick?  Some will make fun of you.  Amazing, but true.  Still you serve.  Still you comfort.  Still you listen to the lonely, the tired, the desperate.  Still you serve, and the world is a better place.

But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.. (1 Peter 3:14-16)

Holy Father,

Grow the fruit of your Spirit in us that we might be Jesus’ hands and and feet in this world.  Grow the fruit of your Spirit in us that we might bring light into dark places.  Grow the fruit of your Spirit in us that we might hear and see the needs of so many, and provide them some comfort and care.  Thank you Holy One, that you have given us lives to live for you.  May we live in such a way that you receive much glory.

In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, I pray.

Amen

 

 

 

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