The Persistent Call to Gentleness in the New Testament
Matthew 5:5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is. . .23 gentleness
Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 3:12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
1 Timothy 6:11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
2 Timothy 2:24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness.
Titus 3:1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
James 1:21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meeknessthe implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meeknessof wisdom.
James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives— 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; 16 yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tenderheart, and a humble mind.
Self-Evaluation (from Tim Challies)
So, how about you? Does your life reflect the meekness and humility of gentleness? I encourage you to prayerfully ask yourself questions like these:
- When someone wrongs you, are you prone to lash out in anger? If so, does that anger express itself physically, verbally, or both?
- Are people afraid to confront sin in your life because they fear your anger or your cutting words? Do your wife and children fear you?
- Would your friends and family say that you are gentle? Would they say that you treat them with tenderness?
- Do you like to play the devil’s advocate? Do you like a good argument? What would your social media presence indicate?
Prayer Points (from Tim Challies)
The God of peace is eager to give you the peace of God (Phillipians 4:7, 9). So, I encourage you to pray in these ways:
- I pray that you would make me more like Christ so that I may be gentle just like he is gentle. I pray that I would regularly consider all the ways in which you have been so patient and gentle with me.
- I pray that you would help me swallow my pride, confess my sins to others, and restore any strained relationships I have.
- I pray that you would give me the grace to be patient and calm when others attack and misunderstand me. Help me respond with gentleness even in the most difficult circumstances.
- I pray that I would be slow to begin an argument or to wade into someone else’s.
Recommended Resources on Gentleness
Bridges, Jerry. The Fruitful Life: The Overflow of God’s Love Through You. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2006.
Challies, Tim. “The Character of the Christian: Gentleness.” 18 Feb. 2016. accessed: 28 July 2021: https://www.challies.com/articles/the-character-of-the-christian-gentle/
Ortlund, Dane. Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers. Wheaton: Crossway, 2020.
Sauls, Scott. A Gentle Answer: Our “Secret Weapon” in an Age of Us Against Them. Nashville: Nelson Books, 2020.
Psalms/Hymns with Gentleness Themes (Trinity Psalter Hymnal)
#194 “Gracious Savior, Gentle Shepherd”
#235 “All Glory Be to God”
#249 “For the Beauty of the Earth”
#257 “Children of the Heavenly Father”
#322 “Once in Royal David’s City”
#332 Who Is He Born in the Stall”
#353 “Lamb, Precious Lamb”
#361 “That Easter Day with Joy Was Bright”
#401 “Holy Spirit of Messiah”
#525 “Savior, like a Shepherd Lead Us”
#526 “He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought!”
There’s more! Look for words like, “gentle,” “tender” “meek”