What sin would pop up in your mind that would be considered the opposite of gentleness? Most of us would think of something like harshness, which is usually connected to anger. Our definition of anger that we used a few weeks ago on Sunday evening was: our whole-personed active response of negative moral judgment against perceived evil. So if I am harsh it’s because I am angry, and if I am angry it is because I am sitting in judgment over a situation and I have decided that someone has done me a disservice or treated me poorly. And the reason I think someone has treated me poorly, James 4 says is because I have desires that are not being met. I see myself as God and no one is worshipping me! So the weed looks like anger above the dirt, but it is idolatry deep down. So you must repent of idolatry and anger.
How can I facilitate or cultivate gentleness within my own heart that the Holy Spirit might more readily produce this fruit in my life?
- Ask others how you come across. Note: as always, don’t offer your opinion to others unless they ask your help.
- Ask God to continue to work in your heart by the power of the Holy Spirit, the watering of the Word and the encouragement of the church to make you a gentle person.
- Study the life of Jesus (Mark 10:13-16): Jesus calls us little children, tells us to call God father, he treats us gently. A story mentioned in all four gospels is the story where Jesus is gently talking to little children and he says, “Let the little children come to me.” Find comfort and encouragement from Jesus, who views you in this kind and tender way and pray that the Holy Spirit will work that mentality into your own heart in Christ-like, controlled consideration of others.