Are You Gentle?
Posted on February 12, 2018 by Graeme Wilson in Freedom Fighters
By the time you read today’s Freedom Fighter blog, the 2018 Super Bowl will be history, and my prediction was that the Philadelphia Flyers will have defeated the Yankees.
My house was very divided over this year’s games. My grandson Tanner is a Minnesota Vikings fan, Josh is an Eagles fan, and Zach is a Patriots fan. Talk about tension!!!
I sorta feel about the Super Bowl like I do congregational meetings. I don’t like them. 🙂
Growing up, I dreaded congregational meetings!!! They made me sick at my stomach because we would watch people who were normally really cool people turn into vicious, unkind, mean people. And quite frankly, not much has changed. One of the last church business meetings we attended at a local church we were attending, I was so appalled and embarrassed at how the saints behaved, that Jan and I said ‘we can’t do this anymore.’
And I am sure that some of you saw the media comments of social media that probably fit the same description of the congregational meetings I’m talking about.
It would appear that for some reason when it comes to sporting events or congregational meetings, reason is tossed to the wind. Not only is reason tossed to the wind, but our ability to get along God’s way seems to be tossed aside.
Viciousness. Unkindness. Rudeness. Sarcasm. Meanness. Well, they are just a few of the words that I would use to describe the behavior that I observe when it comes to sporting events and congregational meetings.
I often think about what new believers or visitors must think when they attend most business meetings. What does this do for our testimony and the cause of Christ?
What is it about situations like these that we feel like we can toss aside biblical principles to justify bad behavior? These would most likely be the same people who mouth off about something that was undoctrinal about another church or a speaker/preacher/author they didn’t like, or point out issues with another brother or sister that was off base. But for some reason – situations like this become acceptable behavior?
Paul wrote to the church at Philippi: “Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.”
Ah – maybe that is the disconnect. Maybe, just maybe we forget that God knows, weighs and sees every one of our thoughts deeds words and actions?
If the Lord were physically in the room during a congregational meeting, would we be apt to say the things that we do? Or would we consider more carefully our words and attitudes?
What I am NOT saying is that there isn’t a time to speak out or speak up. What I am saying that we can’t check our gentleness at the door and decide that we get to choose when we are gentle.
Grab your concordance and look up the word and check out the context. Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit. James addresses how gentleness plays into using wisdom.
Whether you are an Eagles or Patriots fan doesn’t mean you get a free pass on gentleness. Hopefully, your team won. Hopefully, you were a good representative of your spiritual team. May it be said of you and me, we demonstrate a spirit of gentleness to everyone – “the Lord is near.”
Overflowing and abounding with hope,
Bill Welte, President/CEO
Written by Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 11 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
Think about this: Treating a person with gentleness makes him or her want to move near you. Responding with gentleness teaches another person that he or she is safe in your care. It is an essential relational bond.
— Tripp, Paul David. New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional (Kindle Locations 3987-3988). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, Psalm 33:18