This week we welcome guest blogger, Daymarr Jackson. In addition to being Faith Church’s youth leader, Daymarr is a Chaplain candidate in the PA Army National Guard, and a MDiv student at Evangelical Seminary. Daymarr and his wife, Danielys, have two children. This week he continues our series on the Fruit of the Spirit.
As I was doing research on the topic of gentleness this week, I noticed that there’s not as many articles, sermons and podcasts about gentleness as there are for various other biblical topics and content. The more I dove into this, I realized that the Bible actually has a lot to say about gentleness. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.” Sometimes we when we’re having a disagreement with somebody, and they’re being aggressive towards us, we feel like we just need to get more aggressive. They’re loud…we just get louder. But the Bible is telling us that a gentle answer turns away anger, and a harsh word stirs up wrath.
Paul says this in Colossians 3:12, “Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” And in Ephesians 4:2, Paul says, “Therefore, I, the prisoner in the Lord urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received with all humility, and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
I wonder if the reason that we do not talk much about gentleness is maybe because we confuse gentleness with weakness.
Who wants to be weak, right? But Paul, the apostle says that weakness is actually strength. He says this in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “But then [the Lord] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults in hardships, and persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, I am strong.”
There’s a story in Mark 10:35-37 where the disciples are having this conversation. And a couple of disciples say to Jesus, “We want to be the greatest in in your kingdom. What do we have to do to make this happen?” Jesus responded, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over people and officials flaunt their authority over those under them, but among you, it will be different. For whoever wants to be a leader among you must be the servant of all, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve others to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Everything that happens within the kingdom is kind of contrary to what we naturally think, or what we naturally believe. Jesus is telling us that in order to be great, or to be the greatest, that we must become the least, and to serve. The Passion translation puts it this way, “Kings and those with great authority in the world rule oppressively over their subjects, like tyrants, but this is not your calling. You will lead by a completely different model; the greatest among you will live as the one who was called to serve others because the greatest honor and authority is reserved for the one with the heart of a servant. For even the Son of Man did not come expecting to be served but to serve and give his life in exchange for the salvation of many.” Jesus says “it will be different among you” when he talked to his disciples, and the question I have for you this week is, “Is it really different among you?”
What does it mean to practice a life of gentleness so that we are different like Jesus calls us to be? Check back in to the next post!