Gentleness of Grace
G.R.A.C.E. – Gently Radiating A Christ-like Example
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
James 3:17 (ESV)
Is it important to God that Christians display gentleness in their actions with others?
At first you may think this is a silly question. But, the reality is that we often have a hard time displaying gentleness with those who annoy, irritate, or just get on our nerves.
What is Gentleness? One who is mild mannered, compassionate, tender, and sweet-tempered.
The apostle Paul, in Galatians 5:12, says that we are free in Christ (when we repent of our sins and accept Christ as our savior). This freedom is not to be self-serving, but for serving one another in love. For Christ to truly be seen in the believer, we must love our neighbor as ourselves. If not, we are in danger of destroying our testimony by our behavior.
As Christians, we are to walk in the spirit and not act according to our flesh ~ knowing that the flesh and the spirit are at war against one another (Romans 6:12). In any situation, courage to respond gently, submission to the Holy Spirit, and obedience to God’s Word, are symptoms of a balanced relationship with Christ.
Therefore, in the life of believers, every situation and/or reaction requires:
- a gentle demeanor,
- respect for the other person,
- evidence of God’s transforming power,
- and Christ-likeness so others see Him in us.
God’s supernatural, awesome grace holds these qualities together.
God’s Grace enables us to express gentleness. After all, we are made in His image!
The image of God’s gentleness was evident in David’s behavior in the story told in 1 Samuel 25 of Abigail’s protection of her foolish husband when he behaved aggressively toward David’s men. David was so impressed with Abigail that he gently received her as being a messenger from God to prevent him from doing something he would regret. David pronounced peace upon her, and when he found her husband had died, he took her for his wife. God rewarded her act of gentleness by providing protection for her as David’s wife.
Abigail made a choice to submit to her husband, not because he deserved it, but because she was obedient to God. Her responsibility was not removed just because her experience with her husband was difficult.
Susan Hunt, in her book, By Design, asks, “Does your husband know that you protect his reputation by never criticizing him before others? Does he know that when he fails, you will be there to cushion his fall?"
“Does he know that no matter how harshly he may be treated at work, he can come home to a safe place where he will be loved, and gently appreciated?”
God created woman to complete man. God wants you to complete your husband, believe it or not, by showing him the beautiful spiritual fruit of gentleness. Fruit is produced by a composition of minerals, enzymes, and chemicals from within the body of the tree. Likewise, Christ in us produces the ‘fruit of the spirit’… Love, Joy, Peace,
Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control.
As you pray, seek God’s wisdom to become sensitive to His strength and power behind your acts of gentleness. Gentleness is produced from a heart of love desiring to obey and please God.
As you make your home a safe place ~
- Become trustworthy and dependable.
- Maintain a gracious attitude.
- Discuss things lovingly, openly, and honestly.
- Exercise forgiveness and forbearing.
“The meek are gracious, congenial individuals who are easy to get along with. These genial, good-natured souls win friends on every side because they refuse to shove, push, and throw their weight around. They do not win their wars with brutal battles and fierce fights. They win their way into a hundred hearts and homes with the passport of a lowly, loving spirit.” (pg 552, A Gardener Looks at the Fruits of the Spirit, by Phillip Keller.)
Gentleness from within you radiates to others, giving them credible witness of your deep, steadfast faith in the gentle grace of God.