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