Gentleness is truly a quality we can all appreciate in others. I’m not sure I possess it to the extent others would like to see in me. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to change that perspective by growing that quality in me.
John 16:13 says the Spirit shows us what is true, what will come, and guide you into the full truth. We can trust this truth because the Spirit doesn’t speak on his own. He only tells us what he has heard from Jesus. No, you probably won’t hear a loud voice giving you details instructions. It’s more like a calmness, peacefulness, or gentle assurance about your next steps.
Paul, a former zealot, and persecutor of Christians (not exactly a shrinking violet) asked for prayer. He humbly asked the Ephesians (6:18-19) to pray for him. He wanted to be a brave voice, speaking boldly about Jesus and the Good News of salvation. Knowing Paul by reputation, I’m thinking they might have wondered why he, of all people, would need prayer to speak boldly. Boldness was something that came naturally to Paul.
Boldness: A willingness to take risks and act innovatively; confidence or courage.
Maybe Paul changed after receiving Christ. Did the Holy Spirit impart a gentleness that overtook Paul’s boldness, or more likely redirected it? I think so. It was no longer destructive but renewed with courage.
As a former member of the opposition, Paul knew he might suffer rejection or ridicule in his travels. That’s probably why he sought prayer for a strong message, to speak the truth without fear, and do it in such a way as to bring more souls to Christ.
1 Peter 3:15 tells us we should always be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks us to give an account for the hope of Christ in us. No, that doesn’t mean hit them with your bible.
Friends and family are likely to see changes in you, so the questions will come. Be gentle and respectful in your response. This is could be hard sometimes, but don’t shy away from it. Instead show them Christ, who lives in you.
If you’ve never done it before, it is hard getting up the courage to speak bravely and boldly about your faith. This is why Paul asked for prayer. If he could do it, so can we.
So raise your voice in prayer. Ask for both boldness and gentleness as you share our faith with others.
Stay in the Word to be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Follow His lead. He’ll never fail you.
The guiding verse for this series on the Fruit of the Spirit is Galatians 5:22-23 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (NLT)
Go to the Table of Contents to read more posts in this series as they go live.
It’s October so this must be time for 31 Days of Five Minute Friday Free-Writes. The event is hosted by Kate Motaung over at Five Minute Fridays. We write daily for five minutes, or maybe a bit longer. The point is to write. Kate provides writers with a one-word writing prompt each day. Today the prompt is VOICE.
Google gets credit for the definition.
We are to correct those who oppose us with gentleness. When we do that correctly God is able to grant them repentance, lead them to acknowledge the truth, recover their senses and be delivered from Satan’s snare. II Tim 2:25-26.
Often correction isn’t received as the giver intended, so doing it correctly is key. Thank you for the reference and clarification.