Fruitful 9: Gentleness

Gentleness is not the same as timidity - and it's not at odds with being a leader. So how should this fruit affect how we lead?

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Video notes

  • Jesus only describes his heart in one place – Matthew 11:29: “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.”
  • This describes Jesus’ heart (and not just his actions) as gentle
  • Being filled with his Spirit, should make us like Christ Jesus
  • Many leaders confuse leadership categories and we think strength means firmness or single-mindedness, whereas in Bible strength means being Christlike
  • We should not confuse gentleness with timidity or being reticent to speak out
  • Gentleness, like other fruit, is supernatural
  • BDAG lexicon adds to definition: gentleness = not being overly impressed by a sense of one’s own self importance
  • Paul tells Timothy to pursue gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11)
  • We must deal with our opponents this way (2 Timothy 2:25)

Questions to think about

  1. What does it mean to be ‘gentle with opponents’? What does it mean to be gentle with those who disagree with us?
  2. What situations challenge your gentleness? Or reveal your lack of it? How could you approach these differently?
  3. What difference will it make to your ministry and to those you serve if you act in gentleness?

Prayer ideas

  • Praise God for the gentle and lowly heart of Christ Jesus
  • Confess or ask God to reveal to you any situations where you have failed to show gentleness
  • Pray that the Spirit would help you deal gently with others, particularly those who stretch your godliness

Further passages to reflect on

Isaiah 42:1-4

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