Here is one more for today….
9. Must be gentle –
1. kindly; amiable: a gentle manner.
2. not severe, rough, or violent; mild: a gentle wind; a gentle tap on the shoulder.
3. moderate: gentle heat.
4. gradual: a gentle slope.
5. of good birth or family; wellborn.
6. characteristic of good birth; honorable; respectable: a gentle upbringing.
7. easily handled or managed; tractable: a gentle animal.
8. soft or low: a gentle sound.
9. polite; refined: Consider, gentle reader, my terrible predicament at this juncture.
10. entitled to a coat of arms; armigerous.
11. Archaic. noble; chivalrous: a gentle knight.
A very interesting word, GENTLE. Here again this is one of the fruits of the Spirit. You are either gentle or you are not gentle, it is something you can’t fake. You may be able to hide it for a period of time but those who know you best will see the other side sooner or later. I think in my life for the most part I’m a gentle person but there are two definitions here that stands out over the rest. (for me)
“Of good birth or family, wellborn….and….Characteristic of good birth, honorable, respectable, a gentle upbringing”
This is the part you can’t fake – The Bible says in 2Cor 5:17 that “when we are born again we are NEW creatures, the old has passed away……” that means it does not matter where we came from in our natural – does not matter what our upbringing has been – does not matter what class of people we have been! Once we are born again and filled with the Spirit and BUILD the relationship with Jesus, enter His REST, he begins to transform us through the Holy Spirit that dwells inside of us. If we grew up in violence, anger, deception, drugs or WHATEVER — The Holy Spirit begins to transform us into a new creation, born of Royalty, sons and daughters of the King, a new heritage and a new future. It does not come easy and it does not come without a price!! The price is dying to our self and allowing Him to renew our minds, thoughts, patterns, habits, dysfunctions! The REWARDS are the fruits of the spirit!!
Galatians 5:22-23 = New International Version (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
So, it’s something you cannot hide. You may be able to fool some people for a period of time but the Lord will not be mocked, He is more concerned about our hearts than he is about our reputations!! He never exposes out of anger (I think) but out of 100% total love.
For me…..I claimed 2Cor 5:17 as my life verse for the last 20 years. I believe that it was, but I claimed it as a “BAM” experience and acted like the work was done!! I wanted to believe that in my life, and the truth is SO MUCH was done but I had things that I kept hidden, things that nobody saw……….My wife would see me as a not so gentle man, I’m sure my children saw glimpses of it and I knew. When alone driving I could cuss out the guy in my way in TOTAL ANGER as if it was nothing……….I could say things to strangers……..animals………blah blah blah — get the picture? I lived my life in public as a gentle man and in secret the opposite in many ways. There were people in our city that would never ever go to my church because they saw something in me not right……..I hated that and to justify it I would point back to them or say things like it’s because I’m a pastor, they will pay when they stand before God…. so so so so sick….. the bottom line? God sees all, knows all and I can’t hide from Him just as you can’t!
So an Elder/Pastor needs to be tested before he enters into ministry — not an easy job!! But again wife, children, etc…..they always know the truth!!!
Why does an Elder/Pastor need to be gentle – they are shepherds of the souls of the men and women the Lord brings to them…..when you are watching the souls of people it gets VERY NASTY – DIRTY – UGLY and if you do not have a gentle spirit, you will turn them away from the Lord rather than draw them in. I have SEEN some amazing things and some disgusting things in ministry, I have been blown away by the things that people have shared with me, I have walked through with people etc….it takes a SHEPERD to be able to draw them and to walk through life with them.
Jesus was as gentle as they come, the perfect example. The filth, dirt, dysfunction of the world didn’t throw him, it brought out a compassion and gentleness in him that most can’t even imagine. He loved, had compassion, helped, gave hope to, showed mercy to the dirty, hurting, sick, broken people of the world. The ONLY ones he got angry with and called them out was the ones who were full of pride, misused their positions, the religious leaders who lived by their rules and demanded honor and respect. HE LOVED the prostitutes, thief’s, broken hearted, adulterer’s, criminals, sick, and everyone else in the world. His LOVE had NO bounds………. and Elders/Pastors are called to minister JUST AS HE DID — be HIS HANDS and FEET.
Today, I wake every morning and tell him, I cannot be trusted with my life, I am full of sin, anger, bitterness, hate, jealousy, pride and well the list goes on and on……I need him in every situation, I need him to transform all these things within me. ENTER HIS REST and remain there every minute of every day!!!
Well, there is one more for today……..only 6 more to go.