Stew on This: The Road to Humility and Gentleness (Pastoral Help for How to be Gentle)
Derived from Material by: Glenn C. Stewart
Humility means you don’t think too highly of yourself, you aren’t arrogant, and you don’t have an overestimation of yourself. Without humility you can’t be gentle.
The Bible says, “Be completely humble and gentle,” (Ephesians 4:2, NIV). Notice they are linked together as two sides of the same coin.
Galatians 6 shows us why humility is so critical to gentleness…
“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. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself,” (Galatians 6:1-3, ESV).
When people stumble and fall in their walk with Christ, when they mess up their lives, what’s your reaction? Paul says you should be careful or you may be tempted. It may be that the temptation is to become arrogant and self-righteous. Here are examples of arrogant thoughts, “How could they do such a thing? Don’t they know any better? I could see it coming.”
And in all of that you begin setting yourself up over that other person. That’s a key test of your gentleness. How do you respond when someone else unexpectedly falls in their Christian life and experience? When you hear of it, what goes through your mind and heart? Do you want to go to them to restore them or do you avoid them and simply talk about them? One speaks of gentleness, the other of pride. Gentleness is restraint and humility.
“Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you,” (James 1:21, NIV).
The first part of the verse is obvious. You can’t receive the message of God when your ears are stopped up by sin. “Moral filth” is a word that was also used to describe wax in the ears. So, we need to get the wax out of our ears if we are going to hear and receive God’s word. Then we must humbly (gently) receive the word.
This means you are willing to have your opinions examined by God’s truth and let the word of God sit in judgment on your thinking instead of you sitting in judgment on the word of God. It takes strength to be non-defensive, to admit you need to alter your life and align it with God’s truth.
Gentleness and humility are crucial to our relationship with God, receiving His message, and our relationship with others. And it doesn’t come naturally. It takes the Holy Spirit to produce it in our lives. And the only way you have the Holy Spirit is through personal faith in Jesus Christ – the One who loves you, came for you, died for you, and rose again for you. When you invite Christ to be the Savior and leader of your life, then the Holy Spirit comes to you and begins forming you into the person God wants you to be so you can live the life He intends for you. This is how you achieve humility and gentleness.