Week 6 | Kindness & Gentleness
July 31 – August 6
Monday, July 31| Be Gentle Toward Everyone
Read Titus 3:1–8
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
If you wanted to look up a word for the way we humans treat each other on social media (or elsewhere) these days, you’d need to search for an antonym of “gentle.” Gentleness is out of style in our world. We’d rather be right than gentle. We’d rather make our point with gusto than be gentle. But one of the fruits of walking with the Spirit of God is gentleness—a mild-tempered softness toward those we encounter. The more we spend time with God, following in His ways and practicing love in the way He loves, the more gentleness will begin to characterize us. Conversely, as we distance ourselves from God or fall out of our spiritual disciplines (like prayer and meditating on Scripture), the more disagreeable and callous we will become.
- When you reflect on the level of gentleness in your life, what do you see? For example, are there certain arenas in your life in which you are gentle and certain areas in which you are more harsh? What accounts for the difference?
- Reflect on whether there is someone you know in whose presence you feel at rest and at ease. What is it about that person that makes you feel that way? How do you think people feel in your presence?
God, thank You for the opportunities You give me to practice gentleness. The world is so divisive and angry right now, but You have equipped me to be gentle and kind. Help me to resist the temptation to want to be right instead of loving and gentle. Reveal to me the ways I come off as harsh or disagreeable, and give me the ability instead to be mild-tempered and soft-hearted toward those I encounter, whether online, at work, in the community, or at home. Amen.
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