Stew on This: Strength & Gentleness (Help for Pastors)
Adapted from Material by: Glenn C. Stewart
The strength of gentleness is a great topic for conversations and sermons. Jesus declared, “Blessed are the gentle,” or as translators put it, “the meek.” These are the people who have a full life, a happy life, and are the people who are gentle.
You may think, “Yeah, right, maybe in the robe and sandal world of the first century, but this is the camouflage and army boot world of the 21st century. There’s no room for gentleness or meekness because it rhymes with weakness – and that spells getting stepped on.”
There are often misconceptions about what it means to be gentle. Here’s the best way to describe the word… Gentleness is controlled strength.
Have you been to the gym and watched the guys lift the heavy weights and sometimes they realize they can’t lift them? Or they can’t hold it and they let the weight drop as they walk away. It hits the floor with a jarring thud and bounces a little before it comes to rest. Well, in the gym I have gone to you aren’t allowed to drop the weights, not even a little bit, you must control the weight all the way down to the floor before you let go. It’s controlled strength. Some people just let fly what they want to say or do and walk away leaving you to absorb the shattering thud. Gentleness controls the delivery of what may be hard to receive, while maintaining responsibility for it all the way to understanding and reception. Can you see the difference?
Gentleness is strength that is harnessed, channeled, and controlled to produce the positive good that God wants to happen in your life and the lives of those around you. In the first century world, this word was used in association with powerful medicines that could kill you if administered in the wrong dosage. When controlled by the right dosage, the medicines could be soothing and healing. They are gentle medicines. Another good comparison is the wind, which at the zenith of its power can be a destructive hurricane, but when controlled can be a soothing breeze. It can be a gentle wind.
So, to be a gentle person means that though you have the power and potential to be devastating in your attitudes and actions, you control them so that you have a calming, soothing effect on others who may be angry, opposed to you, disagree with you, or are bitter towards you. As you move through your days, I encourage you to think about how you can show the strength of gentleness through your words and actions.