Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Gentleness, the witness of Godliness

Photo by Rye Jessen on Unsplash

Piousness is often couched in the knowledge of God, particularly in this day, and in the past hundred years or so, that speaks of knowledge or of doctrine or of some definite view, but with force. As if God is on our side. Of course, we should understand that we all find a way of justifying ourselves as good people; as God’s people. There are so many tragic examples of people trying to overpower other people in the name of the Lord.
It is something good to repent of.
What if, instead, we didn’t seek to overpower anyone, and instead sought to serve people in gentleness?
One doctrine that has a commanding power is the fruit of the Spirit. I would argue that for its living qualities, gentleness, as a mode of the fruit of the Spirit, is ever persuasive in the Kingdom of God, and a commanding and underestimated power when cast into the world.
But most of us, most of the time, choose something more overtly persuasive, but a power that overpowers — which puts all our relationships at a disadvantage. Overpowering people with our words or gestures or tone or behaviours damages trust, but biblical gentleness, which is a form of generous graciousness applied with patience, always acknowledging and accepting that God is in control, is a power the world hardly sees. And yet gentleness is our opportunity to be set apart for the good works of the Kingdom.
… gentleness is our opportunity
to be set apart
for the good works of the Kingdom.
Good works of the Kingdom
are not what we do
but how we do them.
Anyone can do good things, but it is the motive of where those good things are coming from that is important. The test of whether the good thing is coming from God or not is in the pure attitude of service as contrasted with an attitude of seeking any kind of reward. See how gentleness is worlds apart from the common activity of doing stuff in the name of God but without the Presence of God empowering it?
Gentleness is a gift to everyone, and not least to ourselves, but it is a selfless power given over to people, for the Kingdom’s good. Gentleness gives without thought of return, and somehow in bequeathing gentleness, gentleness is sometimes reciprocated, for gentleness is a powerful example.
Gentleness is the witness of godliness,
especially when gentleness is returned for violence.
Of course, there is a great amount of power from God required to repay violence with gentleness. Can we see therefore that the pacifying nature of gentleness is a powerful strength and nothing like a doormat kind of experience, where we roll over and submit out of cowardice? Gentleness is more like courage.
There is nothing cowardly about gentleness,
but a supreme faith undergirds it,
that trusts God when God says,
‘Vengeance is mine!’
Gentleness leaves justice with God,
trusting Him to do all that is necessary.

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