And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient...
2 Timothy 2:24
Above all else, we are instructed to accurately bear the image of God as we have the mind of Christ. Our Bible readings this week give us a very clear picture of the Christlike quality of GENTLENESS.
We know that gentleness involves our actions and the words which we speak. It also has to do with the manner in which we speak them. The root of gentleness is humility and meekness—being willing to represent Christ responsibly, without any independent cause of our own making. When a humble spirit is present, we will see both ourselves and others as participants together in the ministry of declaring the Lord of glory to a world of lost men.
Strife, harshness, unkindness, an unforgiving spirit, anger, hatred, jealousy and bitterness all give a clear picture of failing to exhibit the gentleness of Jesus Christ. To define our own heart status, we can look at the individual heart motives that precede observable actions and audible speech. Doing so will help us to see what needs to undergo drastic change if we are to live lives that are pleasing to God.
We can assess ourselves in some of the following suggested manners:
1. When I speak to others, is my goal to please God and to profit the hearer?
2. In working through my interpersonal relationship conflicts, is my highest ambition to produce effective
ministry for the cause of Christ, rather than to have self-glory or self-gain?
3. When I disciple a younger or more immature believer, am I at peace with the fact that my ONLY
responsibility, other than the pre-supposed ministry of prayer is to present God’s Word clearly , and that
the ministry of the Holy Spirit will then convict and conform the one whom I teach?
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