We live in a world where it can be quick to pass judgments instead of seeing the best in others. We can find ourselves expressing our opinions harshly when we differ from one another.
Watching debates between Christians online when there is a disagreement makes me cringe a bit when I see the responses towards one another not gentle and kind. Conflict is inevitable, but there is a way as believers that God’s Word lays out for us how to deal with these situations.
There is the reality of being hurt by the words of others and instead of taking the way of meekness, we take the route of defending our rights.
Bringing it closer to home, how are your responses to those you are closest? What does a gentle spirit look like in the context of your marriage or with your children?What does a gentle spirit look like in the context of your marriage or with your children?
Show Notes:Change is a process, not an event.
The Outline of Biblical Usage taken from Blue Letter Bible defines it as:
“Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time (Isa 41:17), Luke 18:1-8). Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God's goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will (Gal 5:23).”
This excerpt below is from Studies in the Sermon on the Mount from D. Martin Lloyd-Jones:
‘There are people who seem to be born naturally nice. That is not what the Lord means when He says, `Blessed are the meek.' That is something purely biological, the kind of thing you get in animals. One dog is nicer than another, one cat is nicer than another. That is not meekness. So it does not mean to be naturally nice or easy to get on with. Nor does it mean weakness in personality or character. Still, less does it mean a spirit of compromise or ‘peace at any price. How often are these things mistaken. How often is the man regarded as meek who says, ‘Anything rather than have a disagreement.”
What does it mean to be poor in spirit? Got Questions.org describes it:
“To be poor in spirit is to recognize your utter spiritual bankruptcy before God. It is understanding that you have absolutely nothing of worth to offer God. Being poor in spirit is admitting that, because of your sin, you are completely destitute spiritually and can do nothing to deliver yourself from your dire situation. Jesus is saying that no matter your status in life, you must recognize your spiritual poverty before you can come to God in faith to receive the salvation He offers. When Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” He is declaring that, before we can enter God’s kingdom, we must recognize the utter worthlessness of our own spiritual currency and the inability of our own works to save us.”
The meek are those who quietly submit themselves to God, to His Word and to His rod, who follow His directions, and comply with His designs, and are gentle toward all men.
~ Matthew Henry
Scriptures & References:
1 Peter 3:4
1 Peter 3:15
Cultivating a Gentle Spirit @Thankful Homemaker
What Does it Mean to Be Poor in Spirit? @Got Questions
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by D. Martin Lloyd Jones
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