The Picture of Gentleness

June 7, 2021

But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 ESV

Throughout artistic history, many artists have portrayed a picture of calm, loving care that translates into every culture, in every time. It’s the picture of a loving nursing mother with her child. The apostle Paul used that image to communicate the kind of care he and his colleagues gave to the people of Thessalonica and wanted them to learn to give others. This is the way he described gentleness.

Paul spoke of the nursing mother, of this mother taking care of her own children, sharing the very essence of herself with those little ones. You know mothers like this. Perhaps you are one. Your priority is caring for that child, using your own body and resources to assure their life and well-being. You care and serve when it is easy and convenient and when it is difficult and challenging. But you don’t do it grudgingly or with anger. You gently care for that infant. That child is very dear to you.

That’s the way gentleness in the relationships of Jesus-followers is supposed to be seen. It’s both attitude and action.

  • It begins with affectionate desire. You want the best for these people whom you are touching for Jesus.
  • You are ready to share the gospel with them; the good news of Jesus that has changed you.
  • You don’t limit your sharing to words—you share yourself. You actually do life with them.
  • You are READY—not grudging or obligated.
  • You are gentle. Their needs are at the forefront of your mind. You are anxious to be life-giving.
  • This is not an occasional occurrence, it is your lifestyle.

This is the gentle fruit of the Spirit that changed the world in the beginning of the Jesus story. It still does.

  • Pray for God’s Spirit to help you genuinely and gently love the “children” He has put in your life.