Friday, September 25, 2015

Consistent Gentleness

Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:9-11 NIV)

It's hard to stay gentle all day every day. We are told by the world around us that we need to be passionate about things like money, sex, and power. When we do follow the world's advice, we find ourselves struggling to get these things. When we get them, we struggle because they do not satisfy. When we don't get them, we struggle because "roadblocks" got in our way. These (and other) battles get us revved up for war, not for peace. Gentleness only comes when we experience peace. God gives us peace so we will know we are walking with Him. God also gives us peace so we will be gentle with others.

For it is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits-- to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand--with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him. (1 Peter 3:17-22 NIV)

Jesus experienced peace and lived out gentleness because he aligned his will with the Father's. We can do the same. We experience peace when we get rid of the things in our minds and hearts that are against God's will, in rebellion to Him. We never experience peace when we fight God. That's because we cannot fight God and win. When we align ourselves with God, though, we experience peace. When we experience peace, it is much easier to treat others with gentleness.

How about you? Do you experience peace in your mind and heart? When you do, are you gentle with others? When you don't experience peace, how gentle are you? How consistent is your gentleness?