“But you, man of God… pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11)
When we think of gentle and quiet we most often translate that to being weak. Women may consider it desirable; but to men it is not often a quality they want attached to their name. So, why does Paul encourage Timothy (and us) to pursue this quality? The picture of gentleness is seen throughout scripture through a variety of means. In 1 Thess. 2:5-9 we find it described as the way mothers are towards their children. What a beautiful picture ~ of deep care, unconditional love and desire only for good.
Scripture also describes it as peaceable (Proverbs. 17:1), as having personal strength (Isaiah 30:15) and possessing words of wisdom (Ecc. 9:17). Still, it may be difficult for us to really know what it looks like in our life and why being gentle is a wonderful trait to exhibit as children of God.
Sometimes it is best to look at what we are to put out of our lives that best enables us to cultivate this attribute. To the same degree we stop gratifying our sinful cravings and free ourselves from the guilt of sin we place ourselves in the position for gentleness to grow. The sin hindrances are many in our life, yet some play a stronger role in keeping us from experiencing a gentle spirit as demonstrated by Jesus and again in the life of Paul.
It is here where our work is to commence: put off anger (Eph. 4:26), unforgiveness (Eph. 4:32), idleness (Proverbs 31:27), playing God (Ps. 127:1-2), and conceit and boasting (2 Cor. 12:7-10). While we are caught up in our sinful nature and in ourselves we cannot care for and love others as a mother loves her children; nor can we say that our lives are a model of Christ to others. The great news is that God provides (Ps. 18:30-35), God works (Rom. 8:28) and God is faithful (1 Corinthians 10:13). It is the powerless one that chooses to give into fleshly desires; the Gentle and Quiet Spirit is the one that surrenders their will, desires, and actions to the hand of God.
From Real Victory for Real Life Volume 1
Written by Lynne Jahns. Lynne is currently the Director of Barbara’s Place, the addiction recovery for women at America’s Keswick.
Think About This: “He knows that his plan will confuse and confound you. And he knows that real rest cannot be found in understanding. Real rest is found in trust.”―