Tag Archives: gentleness

Not A Chance

By Stuart Bassil from Norwich, England (Mother & Child Uploaded by snowmanradio) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

More reality on how to live.  More cause for confession on how I do…

I’m so good at pretending,
hiding the truth,
how things are
with me
and my world.
So good
at playing the game,
living in a false reality,
not sharing the truth,
lest I seem weak,
or needy
or fragile.
Can I face the truth
in me?
In you?

Can I let go of anger?
Let rip
of good positive anger,
that shows
feelings
and provokes progress;
and let go
of destructive anger,
that tears apart
and damages?

Lord,
it is so easy
for these emotions to take over,
to limit
and ruin,
to give evil a chance
– in life,
in community,
in society.

Can I say
only what helps,
truly make each word count
for good,
for positivity,
for you?

Can I be
gentle,
sensitive,
helpful,
in everything
I say
and do?

In all these things Lord,
may I not break your heart.
May I be fit for purpose,
your purpose.
As a child copies its parents actions
may I copy you,
live always
in your ways
and your love.

May you,
your love,
triumph is me
and evil
not get a chance.

Ephesians 4:25-5:2 (MSG)

25 What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.

26-27 Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.

28 Did you use to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can’t work.

29 Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

30 Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.

31-32 Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

Wake Up from Your Sleep

1-2 Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.

Be Gentle

We all need some encouragement in life.  Someone cheer leading from the sidelines, giving us confidence, showing their belief in us; words and actions that give us the impetus to keep on going.

Paul wants to do that to his friends and fellow Christians.  To encourage them in their life and faith.  He is bursting with pride for them, but he wants to encourage them to keep on living God’s ways.

Philippians 4:1-9 (CEV)

Dear friends, I love you and long to see you. Please keep on being faithful to the Lord. You are my pride and joy.

Paul Encourages the Lord’s Followers

Euodia and Syntyche, you belong to the Lord, so I beg you to stop arguing with each other. And, my true partner, I ask you to help them. These women have worked together with me and with Clement and with the others in spreading the good news. Their names are now written in the book of life.

Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.

Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.You know the teachings I gave you, and you know what you heard me say and saw me do. So follow my example. And God, who gives peace, will be with you.

Paul is not afraid to give some direct pointers to a couple of named people.  Euodia and Syntyche are arguing.  We all know how that can drag a community down, when two people just can’t get on.  They worked together with Paul, but cannot work together without him.  But this isn’t just seen as their problem, it is a community problem, and is to be solved  by the whole community together, with everyone’s support and encouragement.

Then Paul turns to the advice I love, that we so often forget,

Be gentle with one another.

So often we have such high expectations, unrealistic standards, that we forget to be gentle.  We forget other people have real lives and circumstances they are dealing with.  We forget we are not perfect, yet we expect it of others; or we have such ridiculously high expectations of ourselves, that we transfer that to others – forgetting that we never reach those height; or we are so cross that we don’t meet our own high standards that we end up taking it out on others.

So perhaps the “Be gentle” advice needs to be applied to ourselves first?

Yes there are expectation of the christian life, standards and goals, but we are not God.  They are aims to be encouraged towards, but with the reality that we are all human.  We should be encouraging not discouraging one another.  Cheering each other on, not jeering at every slip up.

Be gentle with everyone, you never know what is happening in their life, what burdens they are carrying, what news they have just been told, what happened before they walked out of their door, what will happen when they walk back in it, what they are fearing, hoping, dreaming or dreading…

That is how we know and spread God’s peace.

Forgive me Lord,
the things I get wrong,
the times I discourage others,
do things that drag my community down,
project my ridiculous expectations on to others
and fail to be gentle,
to myself
and to others.

May I tread
with your feet,
exercise care,
love
and understanding,
even when I do not know.
May I be gentle,
as you are so gentle
with me.