Obviously we are not collecting character traits that we can wear as a badge nor would this be part of our status on social media. We have all failed in the beatitudes of Christ and maybe that’s why we make the kingdom. The fruit has all gone bad at some point in our lives. Nevertheless as a follower of Jesus we should not be declaring over ourselves we are not humble nor that we are not gentle or anything else. So we declare it and aspire to be so with the work of the Spirit in our lives for the goal is Paul’s command:-
“Be completely … gentle” (Ephesians 4 v2)
It’s a difficult word to translate apparently. Some translations have meekness. Paul’s use of the word is also used for the brokenness of a horse. Power that is under control. But the problem with that is the word power. How do we handle power? How do we control that?
I think where humility recognises the value of others above our own value; gentleness doesn’t even look at our own value and therefore there is no insistence about our rights in a situation.
Have you ever become cranky with someone? Of course we have. I love the word cranky but not the emotion. People do drive us crazy! Knowing how to keep one’s emotions under control is going towards being gentle.
One of the tasks of the Christian is knowing how to be angry at the right time in the right way and for the right reason and that’s not easy at all! It is probably best not to try it for failure is ever before us.
How do we respond when hurt has come into our life? Bearing injuries without anger or revenge but with a forgiving spirit and truly believing that God has a purpose for this is the hallmark of being gentle.
The Amplified uses the word ‘unselfish’ to help us understand more of what it means. It is not to be impressed by the sense of one’s own importance because one thing you know, you are not that important.
It really is a good thing that Paul has spent 3 chapters on what Christ has done and especially how He is dwelling in us. Without him these instructions are totally impossible!