Summary: Gentleness is Strength under Control.
FOTS - Gentleness
December 3, 2008 Wednesday Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: Gentleness is Strength under Control.
Focus Passage: Galatians 5:22-23
Supplemental Passage: Matthew 26:52-53
Introduction: Martin Field asks the question, “Have you ever heard of the “Dependent Order of Really Meek and Timid Souls?” When you make an acrostic of the first letters of its name, you have the word, “Doormats.” (Overhead 1)
Their official insignia - yellow caution light. Their official motto is: “The meek shall inherit the earth, if that’s OK with everybody!”
Upton Diskson founded the society after he wrote a pamphlet entitled, “Cower Power.”
I. Jesus had the power, but used restraint
II. Jesus demonstrated graciousness by washing feet the last night before dying.
a. He could have focused on His rights; but he focused on serving
It reminds me of the story of the great African American singer Marian Anderson. You may not remember her because she retired from singing in 1965, but she was one of the great singers of her day. Once in an interview a reporter asked her to "name the greatest moment in her life." She could have named:
* The night Conductor Arturo Toscanini announced, ’A voice like hers comes once in a century.’
* In 1955 she became the first African American to sing with the Metropolitan Opera in New York. * The following year her autobiography became a bestseller. * In 1958 she became the US delegate to the United Nations.
* She once gave a private concert at the White House for the Roosevelts, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth of England.
* Her hometown, of Philadelphia, awarded her the $10,000 Bok Award as the person who’d done the most for the city.
* In 1963 she was awarded the coveted Presidential Medal of Freedom.
* There was an Easter Sunday in Washington D. C. when she stood at the Lincoln monument and sang for a crowd of 75,000, which included Cabinet members, Supreme Court justices, and most of the members of Congress. Which of those big moments did she choose? None of them. She quietly told the reporter that the greatest moment of her life was the day she went to her mother and told her she wouldn’t have to take in washing anymore. The greatness of Marian Anderson didn’t merely stem from her extraordinary voice, but her gentle spirit.
“In our rough and rugged individualism, we think of gentleness as weakness, being soft, and virtually spineless. Not so! ... Gentleness includes such enviable qualities as having strength under control, being calm and peaceful when surrounded by a heated atmosphere, emitting a soothing effect on those who may be angry or otherwise beside themselves, and possessing tact and gracious courtesy that causes others to retain their self-esteem and dignity.... Instead of losing, the gentle gain. Instead of being ripped off and taken advantage of, they come out ahead!”