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Summary: A popular bumper sticker says, “Don't Get Mad--Get Even." We need a strong dose of biblical truth to cure these attitudes. The biblical solution is gentleness.

A popular bumper sticker says, "Don=t Get MadCGet Even.@ People demand what they perceive to be their rights, no matter how the demand harms others. Some go to court to squeeze every last cent out of those who hurt them. More and more violent crimes are committed each year. We need a strong dose of biblical truth to cure these attitudes. The biblical solution is gentleness.

The world might interpret gentleness or meekness as cowardice, timidity, or lack of strength. But the Bible describes it as not being vengeful, bitter, or unforgiving. It is a quiet, willing submission to God and others without the rebellious, vengeful self-assertion that characterizes human nature.

"The Greek word translated Agentleness@ was used to speak of a soothing medicine. It was used of a light, cool breeze and of a colt that had been broken and tamed, whose energy could be channeled for useful purposes. It also describes one who is tenderhearted, pleasant, and mild.

Gentleness is not wimpiness though. It is power under control. The circus lion has the same strength as a lion running free in Africa, but it has been tamed. All its energy is under the control of its master. In the same way, the lion residing in the gentle person no longer seeks its own prey or its own ends; it is submissive to its Master. That lion has not been destroyed, just tempered." [1]

How is gentleness pictured in the Bible?

A blowing (i.e., wind): 1 Kings 19:12 After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. (NAU)

A lamb led to the slaughter: Jeremiah 11:19 19 But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; . . . .@ (NAU)

What is gentleness?

A personal attitude: 1 Corinthians 4:21 What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness? (NAU) Galatians 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. (NAU)

Who shows what gentleness is?

God Himself: Psalm 18:35 You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great. (NAU)

Isaiah 40:11 Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes. (NAU)

Christ: Matthew 11:29 ATake My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (NAU) Matthew 21:5 ASay to the daughter of Zion, >Behold your King is coming to you, Gentle, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.= @ (NAU)

2 Corinthians 10:1 Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of ChristCI who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent! (NAU)

Paul and his associates: 1 Thessalonians 2:7 But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. (NAU)

How Important is Gentleness?

#1 It's Commanded by God Ephesians 4:1-2 1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, (NAU)

#2 It's required in dealing with others: 2 Timothy 2:25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, (NAU)

#3 Characteristic of the spirit of godly women: 1 Peter 3:4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. (NAU)

#4 Required for Christian conduct: Titus 3:1-2 1 Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, 2 to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. (NAU)

1 Timothy 6:11 But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. (NAU)

James 3:13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. (NAU)

#5 Among qualifications for an elder: 1 Timothy 3:3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. (NAU) Hebrews 5:2 he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness; (NAU)

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