It has been a lot of fun teaching through the Fruit of the Spirit series this summer during children’s church. Here are some of the previous lessons.
- The Fruit of the Spirit is love
- The Fruit of the Spirit: Joy and Peace
- The Fruit of the Spirit: Patience and Kindness
- The Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness
This week’s topic is gentleness. There are a lot of misconceptions about what gentleness is. The root word of gentleness in Greek is “praus“. It is similar to the word subject, like be subject to someone. The idea is to arrange yourself under the leadership of another. Praus carries the idea of power under control. This is a term that was used in animal husbandry. It was a term used for horses that had been tamed. A wild horse has lots of power but no control. That horse is useless for domestic purposes. When a horse was tamed, it retained its power but became useful for domestic purposes. This carries over into our spiritual lives. Apart from Christ, we are powerful yet we are useless to the Lord, to the people around us, and ultimately to ourselves. When we bow our knee in submission to Christ, we retain our same power and become useful to the Lord, to the people around us, and to ourselves.
II. Jesus is Gentle
In the Gospel of John, chapters 5 and 8, Jesus tells us that, even though He is coequal with God, He does not do anything on His own initiative. He does what God tells Him to do and He says what God tells Him to say. This is the same Jesus who has the power to cast out demons and call down angels from heaven in His defense. He is very powerful, yet, that power is under control. Jesus is useful to God as well as being useful to the people around Him. During His lifetime, He served the people around Him and, with His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, He served all of humanity for all time.
III. Moses, the picture of gentleness
Moses is known as being the most humble/gentle man who ever lived, other than Jesus Christ, Himself. Numbers 12 reveals this to us. I would like to focus on how Moses become so gentle and how he manifested that gentleness in his daily life. Moses was taught by God to be a leader. When Moses was given the reigns of leadership, he did not become prideful. He remained gentle, especially when he was given authority. There are many people who are gentle and humble until they are given some power and authority. It changes them and they become very prideful. Moses is a great example of gentleness. When given a position and power, Moses shows Biblical leadership by becoming a servant leader. Because of his gentleness, he cared for the people and wanted to lead them in a personal relationship with God. Moses wanted to invest in the lives of others, raising them up to become leaders like he was. Many leaders do not want to invest in other leaders because of a fear of competition. Moses was not like that, just like Jesus was not like that.
Moses’ gentleness was put to the test over and over again by the people he was leading. Moses had problems with the people, with Pharaoh, etc. but he did not give up. He continued to trust in the Lord every step of the way. By the time Moses does lead the people out of Egypt, he is ready for the real challenge; leading the stiff necked people through the wilderness to the promised land. Each trial is preparation for the next task because he trusts God and does not give up. When things get difficult, he turns to God. He does not lash out at his enemies. He is gentle with them. He confronts them but does so with love, patience, and gentleness. He prays for them and intercedes for them with God. As a result, he is a great leader and a model of gentleness.
What about you, my dear friend, are you a gentle person? How do you respond when people test your patience? Are you useful to God, to the people around you, and to yourself? Do you submit to the will of God above your own will? May the Lord help us all to learn gentleness from the Lord Jesus Christ and follow Moses’ example.