It has been said that there is no virtue less wanted than gentleness. We hear people say they want to be more loving or have a stronger faith, but it seems rare for someone to desire to be gentle. Yet this must never be for the Christian. As this study will show, it is an essential part of the Christian life. And in a world of twitter storms and Internet rage, it is a quality we desperately need.
What does it mean to be gentle? Some define it as strength under control. For Aristotle, it was the midpoint between being hot-tempered and being spineless. Others describe it as the tenderness of a lion playing with its cubs. How would you describe it?
Read Matthew 11:28-30 and Isaiah 42:1-4. Jesus is the ultimate demonstration of what gentleness is. Discuss this. In what way was He gentle? How does his gentleness affect the way we respond to Him?
Read Ephesians 4:1-3, 2 Corinthians 10:1 and Colossians 3:12. Humility and gentleness are connected in these verses. How do they relate to each other? How might being humble help us be gentle?
Read Titus 3:1-2 and Philippians 4:4-7. What do these verses tell us able the importance of being gentle? What would it mean for us if the community considered us to be a gentle people?
Read John 2:13-17 and Matthew 21:12-17. Jesus was gentle, but that does not mean he was never angry. In the Matthew reading, how does Jesus’s anger differ from the anger of the chief priests and the teachers of the law? Compere the interactions with Jesus and the people with the interactions of the religious folk interacts with the people. Who was gentle with the people?
Read Galatians 6:1 and 2 Tim 2:23-26. We are to be gentle in our teaching, disagreements and acts of discipline. Can you give any examples of this? How can we be strong in standing for what we believe in while also being gentle?