What the Bible says about Gentleness

"Let your gentleness be evident to all" (Phil 4:5, NIV). "Let your reasonableness be known to everyone" (Phil 4:5, ESV). "Let your gentle spirit be known to all men" (Phil 4:5, NASB). "Let your graciousness be known to everyone" (Phil 4:5, HCSB). "Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do" (Phil 4:5, NLT).

Theme: Gentle does not mean weak. It takes real inner strength for one to be gentle toward others. A weak person will not have the inner strength to be gentle, for true gentleness requires power and strength that is under control.

(This is the tentative theme and outline for my sermon on 7/20/2014: G is for Gentleness.)

I. What the Bible says about Gentleness

  • Church leaders should be gentle: "...not addicted to wine, not a bully but gentle, not quarrelsome…" (1 Tim 3:3, HCSB).
  • Christians should be gentle: "They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone" (Tit 3:2, NLT). "Always be humble and gentle. …making allowance for each other's faults (Eph 4:2). "…you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" (Col 3:12).
  • Paul's appeal is gentle: "I, Paul, appeal to you with the gentleness and kindness of Christ…" (2 Cor 10:1, NLT)).
  • Restoring others who sin should be done gently: "…if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path…" (Gal 6:1, NLT).
  • Paul encourages Timothy to pursue gentleness: "But you, man of God…pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness" (1 Tim 6:11, HCSB).
  • Paul says to gently instruct those who oppose you: "…correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim 2:25).
  • Honor Christ before others gently: "You must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way" (1 Pet 3:15-16, NLT).
  • Wisdom from God is gentle: "But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy… It shows no favoritism and is always sincere" (Jas 3:17, NLT).
  • The fruit of the Spirit is gentle (Gal 6:22-23): patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
  • Jesus is gentle (Mt 11:28-29).

II. The Prudence and Wisdom of Gentleness

  • "I choose gentleness… Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist may it only be in prayer. If I make a demand may it only be of myself." Max Lucado.

  • "For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted." Amy Carmichael.

  • "Only the weak are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong." Leo Buscaglia.

  • "There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness." Han Suyin.

  • "Our greatest strength lies in the gentleness and tenderness of our heart." Rumi.

  • "Nothing is so strong as true gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as true strength." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

  • "With gentleness overcome anger. With generosity overcome meanness. With truth overcome deceit." Buddha.

  • "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness" (2 Cor 12:9, NLT). "...a gentle tongue can break a bone..." (Prov 25:15).