Moving through the Fruits of the Spirit, we are now at Gentleness. I’ve recently discovered Chad’s Bible Encyclopedias. I’m so thankful for his Bible degree…
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.” Galatians 6:1
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15
Babies need to be treated with gentleness, just notice next time you’re around one how often that word is used with a bigger sibling! But what about toddlers? Or elementary-age kids? Or teenagers? What kind of gentleness do they need?
Galatians suggests that gentleness should be used when someone is caught in a sin. I heard a pastor say once that “caught” here isn’t so much like “caught red-handed”, but more like they are caught in a trap and can’t get out. They need to be restored, it says. Are there consequences? Sure. But the consequence shouldn’t be YOU. “Psychological and negative relational consequences, such as getting angry, sending guilt messages, nagging, and withdrawing love, usually do not motivate people to change. If they do, the change is short-lived,” (Boundaries With Kids, p. 58). This I am not so good at. I have improved, but ooo do I have a ways to go.
1 Peter tells us that gentleness should be used when sharing the hope we have in Christ. Maybe our most important “mission field” is at home? It’s our job (not our church’s) to teach our children about God. We are constantly modeling love to our kids, whether by word or action. I believe that how we show love to them is their foundation of understanding it. God IS love…may I represent Him well.
Correcting and teaching about God. Those are…two of my main job requirements I would say. May we continue to grow in gentleness so that we may do these jobs well.