Archive for September 21st, 2009

(As perhaps you’ve noticed, this series comes from the KJV. I realize that in other translations, “gentleness” comes later on in the listing.  We will discuss that under the title of “meekness” when we come to it later this week.)

The term “gentleman” is a good starting point for defining “gentleness.”  It is interpreted “kindness” in several translations.  Synonyms are tenderness, calmness, mildness, etc.  However, this spiritual fruit is not to be confused with human kindness.  People can be naturally “good,” and yet do things to get praise for themselves, instead of for God.

This gentle kindness is demonstrated by God in his goodness toward us.  For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” (Psalms 117:2) “…For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness…” (Joel 2:13)  “’For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has mercy on you.” (Isaiah 54:10)

So why is it so important to demonstrate this gentleness of God? 

Jesus said in Matt 25:35-40:  “’For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”  When we demonstrate God’s kindness to one of His children, it is as if we are doing it for Jesus Himself.  So when you’re serving at a church dinner, do it like you’re serving Jesus.  When you’re doing laundry for your family, do it like you would for Jesus.  This also helps with the “putting others before yourself” concept.  If we think of serving everyone else as serving Jesus, we’re much more apt to think of ourselves as less important.  Wow, that’s convicting.

Do not neglect to show hospitality [kindness] to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2)  If we’re kind to everyone, who knows if we might be demonstrating kindness to an angel without knowing it?  And even if they aren’t angels, we should still respond with His kindness to those He brings within our circle of influence.  We never know how God may use us in someone’s life if we will only seek to imitate Him.

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