“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].”
Gentleness, (meekness, humility) is one of the hardest Christian virtues to develop in our lives. A person who needs humility thinks they don’t need it at all, and thats proof that they do need it.
In this message we will be looking at Gentleness, meekness, and humility.
The word “Gentle” in the Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language: “Mild; meek; soft; bland; not rough, harsh or severe; as a gentle nature, temper or disposition; a tame; peaceable, not wild, turbulent or refractory, soothing, treating with mildness, not violent.”
Are you a gentle person? How do you respond when someone rubs you the wrong way? Are you rough, harsh, or wild in your response or are you meek, humble, and peaceable?
Phil. 4:5 NIV
“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
This fruit of gentleness should be seen by the world, Christian and non-Christians alike should see you as a gentle person. Gentleness preserves us and brings peace in our lives. When we are calm and gentle with our responses to others, our lives are better for it.
I use to think it was my right and duty to tell someone how they hurt me. I wanted them to know that what they did had much consequence in my life. After I spewed out my retaliation I felt good and life was better. But was it? Telling someone the negative things of how you feel towards them or trying to stand up for yourself just makes you look bad, especially in how you deliver it. In my case, I usually delivered it with much emotion and fire. No one could stand after receiving my wrath. It was never a good thing. I was deceived in thinking it was okay to behave like that. It didn’t show gentleness in any form. It wasn’t the fruit of the spirit manifesting in my life it was the fruit of pride and selfishness. This was a hard lesson for me to learn.
We are to be gentle when dealing with people, especially when we are correcting them.
Gal. 6:1 Amplified Bible
“Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also.”
Gentleness is also known as meekness as you saw in the Dictionaries definition of gentle. Being meek is part of being gentle.
It is hard to respond sometimes with gentleness. Human nature tells us to stand up for ourselves and don’t allow others to get away with hurting us. Meekness differs from gentleness. In many ways these two fruit of the Spirit at the same; but meekness is an inward and passive thing, and gentleness is an outward and active thing. A man feels meek, but he acts gently.
Interesting when Moses, Jesus, John the Baptist, Stephan, and many others, were standing up for truth, and what was right, they would speak boldly. They even called those they were speaking to as “Brood of vipers or Stiffed neck, or Hypocrites. But when they were accused they didn’t speak up for themselves or retaliate. This is meekness.
Meekness is not weakness. Meekness requires great strength.
Numbers 12:3 Amplified Bible
“Now the man Moses was very meek (gentle, kind, and humble) or above all the men on the face of the earth.”
Moses was a meek man yet he was one of the greatest leaders in history. He could be stern when an occasion demanded; for example when he made the worshipers of the golden calf drink the dust of their own idol (Exodus 32:30). This was holy zeal for the sake of God Almighty.
When Moses own name was reproached by his brother and sister, Aaron and Miriam, he didn’t make any attempt to retaliate. This reveals the true character of the man, and his meekness.
Stephen is another good example. His meekness shines in his prayer for his murderers when they were stoning him: “And falling on his knees, he cried out loudly, Lord, fix not this sin upon them [lay it not to their charge]! And when he had said this, he fell asleep [in death].” (Acts 7:60 Amplified Bible)
With Stephen, there was no appearance of weakness when he scolded the Sanhedrin, “Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost” (Acts 7:51 KJV).
Notice the qualities in Moses and Stephan: zeal for God, but meekness for self.
What about Jesus? Scripture tells us that he was “led as a lamb to the slaughter” yet cleansed the temple with a whip! Jesus didn’t have to go to the cross. He said, “Don’t you know I can call on a legion of angles and they would deliver me.” But He humbled Himself under the mighty hand of God because He knew that was what God wanted Him to do and what was going to be best for everybody else.
He didn’t use His power to get out of something but humbled Himself to go through something that He thought God wanted Him to go through. It would be like if somebody really did me dirty and it made me made and I knew I had the ability to get them back but I refused to do that because I knew it wasn’t what God wanted me to do. That’s meekness. When you have the ability to do something but you won’t do it because you don’t believe that is what God wants you to do. Amen!
That’s a powerful person. It takes a much more powerful person to wait on God then to take fleshly action in your own zeal. “Well bless God you are not going to treat me that way!” If that fire is in you, allow God to give you a different kind of fire.
If you have the authority or ability to get even or hurt the other person who spoke badly about you this is what you need to do: Forgive, pray, and bless (FPB) and allow God to take care of the situation.
There was a person who was on my staff and to my face they were kind and nice and seemed obedient, but I was getting feed back from other people who were around them that they were speaking negative words about me to others. It hurt me. I was in the position to give her fits in our staff meetings, or even point blank tell her I knew what she was saying about me behind my back. I could have taken action but I humbled myself instead. I loved her every time I saw her. This wasn’t easy. I had to pray constantly when I was in her presence, and when I thought about her. God told me to give her some gifts even though I knew what I knew about her. It was hard. I felt I was wasting them on her because she didn’t deserve them. But, I obeyed in spite of what I felt. Eventually she left the staff and did her own thing. Months went by and one day she attended where I was speaking at. By this time God showed me her character and condition of her heart and it made me pray for her every time I thought of her. After the service I went up to her and her friend and asked if there was anything she wanted prayer for. She broke down and started to cry and asked for my forgiveness. She didn’t say why, but I knew, yet she didn’t know I knew. God gave me so much love for her at that moment. I saw her countenance change from anxiety and fear to peace and joy. I never told her what I knew. It didn’t seem to matter any more. Later she thanked me and said she had peace for the first time in over a year.
You see we never know what others are going through because of the mean things they have done to you. Meekness is holding back your strength when you have the power to let them have it! Meekness is gentleness and humility all rolled up into one. Are you a gentle person?
Meekness is not weakness at all. A meek man is a powerful man, a real man. Jesus was a meek man. A real man. A powerful man. A gentle man is a real man. What has happened to gentlemen? My husband still will open the door for me or hold a door as I walk into a store. Even if I opened the store door and motion for him to walk in, he will put his arm out and hold the door and I know I am to walk in first. This is being a gentleman. He has the power to push his way in first, but he chooses not too.
We as believers we need to fight for these qualities. We need to fight for these virtues. The way we do it is by being a good example everywhere we go. The Fruit of the Spirit is there for our taking but many don’t. Why? I believe because it costs them something. It costs us to change.
Do you know the Bible promises things to those who are meek?
The promises to the meek:
- The meek shall eat and be satisfied (Psalm 22:26)
- The meek will He guide in judgment (Psalm 25:9)
- The meek will He teach His way (Psalm 25:9)
- The meek shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5)
- The meek will find rest for their souls (Matthew 11:28 – 30)
Matthew 11:28 – 30 KJV
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Humility is so major. I give kudos to those who came today and have come during this Fruit of the Spirit series. It means that you want to grow. A lot of people want to see what God can do for them, but they really don’t want to hear what they need to do.
We are living in darkness but we are the light. Everyone of us need to dust off our bulbs and get ourself turned up to full power! There is a great danger living in the world today because we can drift. If you don’t set an example for your kids in your home, I don’t know what is going to happen to them. There was a day if the parents didn’t do their job there would be people and heroes out there that would be an example. WE have to bring it up higher!
The Fruit of the Spirit, these are the most beautiful things you can show your children.
Philippians 2:3 Amplified Bible
“Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourself].”
That doesn’t mean to think lowly of yourself. That’s not what it means at all. It means not to think you are better then other people. Are you willing to listen to what they have to say. They might be right and you are wrong? Can you receive a word of correction from them? Listen, you have no idea how God will speak to you.
God had to talk to a prophet through a donkey. A person with a humble attitude is willing to receive. Don’t think that you are better then other people or that what you do is more important then what somebody else does. Don’t have a lowly opinion of yourself, but never mistreat somebody else because you think that you are better then them. These are things we have to think about a little bit.
Philippians 2:4 – 7 Amplified Bible
“Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others. Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:] Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, but stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.”
Jesus coming down here and becoming a human would be like us seeing a little red ant and we decided to become an ant and crawl around in the dirt to help them. Jesus sweat drops of blood under the pressure of enduring the cross. He had the power to walk away from it but was obedient to what His Father wanted.
Philippians 2:8 – 11 Amplified Bible
“And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross! Therefore [because He stooped so low] God has highly exalted Him and has freely bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, that in (at) the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue [frankly and openly confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Humility comes before honor, and pride goes before destruction. (Proverbs 16:18 , Proverbs 15:33.) Pride destroys us but humility promotes and blesses us.
The devil’s sin was pride. Interesting. He lost his position through pride and will live in everlasting shame because of it. Jesus bought us back and He received His position through humility. Humility had to come to overcome the pride of the enemy. We were stolen through pride and gained back through humility. Powerful!
Naturally the devil wants us to be like him. He wants us to take on his nature. He wants us to be full of me, myself, and I. I think, I want, I know. Until you get throughly fed up with you, talking about you, thinking about you, and trying to make provision for you. Some of you are just about there aren’t you?!
I’m tired of thinking about myself, worrying about myself, trying to make plans for myself, trying to make everything work out for myself. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and see what God can do. That place of humility brings you into rest. It brings an ease.
Next week Part 2 of Fruit of the Spirit – Gentleness. We will be looking more at Humility and The 50 Fruit of Pride.
Pastor Kris Belfils