Wow, Week Five is here already. We have gone through four weeks together and I am excited for the next five days. As we dive into gentleness and self-control, I want to encourage you to go back and read the posts you have missed, click here. I want to make sure you don't miss anything.
Each week, the Fruit has grown differently. First, in loving God with all our hearts, then through intimacy with Jesus. Week three we learned to surrender and last week we grew in being active. This week gentleness and self-control will grow us in discipline, mastering one’s tongue and actions through Jesus.
When talking about gentleness, power usually doesn't come to mind, but what great power we have in Jesus. With great power, we need great discipline. It takes more power in one's self to react gently than it does to act freely in anger. Jesus was all-powerful, self-controlled, and gentle in his approaches when encountered with the people the world deemed unworthy or evil. That same power runs through us when we know God.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:29 NIV
Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:4 NIV
When God views someone who is gentle he does not see weakness. God sees an unfading beauty! When Jesus radiates from deep within us, we look physically different from the world, that difference draws people to God. As women of God, our beauty is to come from our walk with Christ, not with how many heads we can turn.
We are called to live lives that reflect Jesus and His heart. We are to be gentle to bring people to salvation, no matter who it may be. And when we are gentle, people will want to hear what we have to say.
24 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 ESV
When we walk in His Holy Spirit gentleness, lives will be changed. Strangers will feel love like they have never felt before, through our unworldly actions, and people will want to know Jesus. We will reflect who He is.
16 "But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 ESV
Having Holy Spirit gentleness means that we need to know the power we carry. We have to be gentle because our words can cause wounds that can take years to heal. The rhyme, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," is one of the biggest lies of the Enemy. Your broken arm will heal, but the words your father said to you as a child can affect your entire life. We have to draw close to God so that His gentleness can flow from our hearts and mouths, allowing the Holy Spirit to shine. We need to understand the great power we have in our words and to allow God to grow gentleness in us to tame that power.
45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Luke 6:45 ESV
Being slow to speak and quick to listen, James 1:19 changes the way people see God through us. Others are more open when we react in a way that is mild and humble, different from the way the world expects. This does not mean to be passive. It means to speak your words in a gentle manner, caring for the other person even when you're upset. Gentleness is a step further, the step that shows our enemies’ mercy.
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger."
Proverbs 15:1 NIV
The Greek word for gentleness is prautes, meaning mild and humble, especially toward an enemy. This is shown through friendliness toward anyone when harshness is the expected response. In the context of the Bible, this gentleness means the person is living in a way that is in accordance with Scripture and with that, it brings about mildness. A gentle person shows mercy and acts appropriately even when provoked. Our gentle words will call out to their inner selves and true purpose, to love God.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 6:12 NIV
In Matthew 23, Jesus teaches us to show what we believe, not to speak empty words, but to have proof in our actions. Not to say, “do not gossip” but to live it out. Here's a rule someone once told me, "If what you are sharing isn't about you, then it is none of YOUR business." Share about yourself, your experience, but do not muddy another person's reputation because of your bad experiences or your personal opinion. Let your words be gentle and kind, and let your actions follow suit. Gentleness shows that we care for people even when they are not around. Making sure that we speak gently, even in our frustrations.
23 "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them."
Jesus made it clear that we are to live the life, not just appear to do so. God calls us to a standard that the world cannot comprehend. That standard is the Fruit of the Spirit.
If you know that you are not a gentle person or you struggle with gentleness, ask God to grow it in you. Ask God to make you aware of how He sees the world. Do not regurgitate what you hear, but keep sacred what is shared with you. When we are gentle in Spirit, we reflect God physically and spiritually. We can show the world that our God is a God of grace and mercy and that we are his daughters and sons. We have to walk in the disciplines that the Lord has set before us, knowing that what we say and do will affect others around us.
Having to control one's self means that there is something in us that is going against us. Our flesh is a battlefield that the Spirit fights in daily. We have to be disciplined in our time with God because of the constant battle and human interaction. The Spirit of God dwells in our flesh, not in a building; we are temples of the living God.
19 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV
Let’s look at self-control in the way of the flesh first, where self-control physically affects us. Do you have self-control with what you consume, what you wear, whom you let touch you? Physical touch that feels great for a moment, out of the context of how God intended it, is a sin. To resist sin takes excellent self-control. Do you use and eat the best products for your body? When God created us He didn’t intend for us to have bodies that we treat like toxic wastelands. Self-control is needed where we are weakest. Do you know your weakness? Mine is sweet treats and staying up late. When we know our weaknesses, we can ask God to make them strengths. We are given the opportunity to invite him to grow self-control.
The world has trained us to compensate for our imperfections which can lead to a lack of self-control. Are you aware of what is going in your mind and your body and how it affects you? We are not and can not be perfect. Self-control is on the list because we will not, always act in love, be patient, or do good by others. Self-control is linked to our greatest weaknesses and God's strength.
Spiritually, what do you consume? Do you listen to music that you know Jesus would not approve of if he was in the car? I know that sounds lame, but it is true. Do you watch shows and movies that blatantly sin and go against God's word? I am guilty of all of these things. We aren’t to follow God sometimes, but at all times, every moment, of every second, of every day.
23 "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life."
Provers 4:23 NRS
What goes into us spiritually and physically, must come out. Do you have the self-control to walk away from a hateful person when you lack patience? Do you have the self-control not to eat the chocolate when your boss has made you feel two inches tall? Do you deny yourself the thing you shouldn’t have or do? Have you evaluated how you treat your physical body and your spiritual growth?
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates
We need self-control to do all the Fruit of the Spirit, and we need all the Fruit to have self- control. The Fruits of the Spirit are a masterpiece, set up in a way that ends with a new beginning. The Greek word for self-control is egkrateia, meaning the discipline of mastering one’s own desires, emotions, and passions.
Denying one's self to live in a way that lines up with God's word is the bottom line. Our flesh fights and wants what God does not wish for us. We have to be dependent on God to overcome temptation and remain spiritually strong and pure. God knows we are flawed, He was there when sin entered the world, He saw the lack of self-control. Adam and Eve were made in perfection and God's image, God gave them the self-control they needed, and they refused to use it.
Self-control grows when we walk in the disciplines of what God wants, knowing that He has the best for us, far beyond what we could imagine. Self-control is increased by knowing God's word and what He wants. It is also grown through presenting EVERYTHING we do to God and asking if it is what He would have us do. Self-control means we need to cultivate ears that can hear what God is saying. Walk in what He has for you, ask the Holy Spirit to grow self-control and that you would be aware of all that you do.
Please join us for this week as we study the Fruit of the Spirit.
Mondays will be when our newest blog post comes out. Each week of this study I will be giving away a Bible Journaling Box reflecting the current week's Fruit. To enter to win head over to our Instagram, click here.
To purchase a Bible Journaling Box, click here. Each box is $15 off right now with free shipping. I would love to send you a custom journaling box and a new Journal.
Wednesday mornings I will be hosting an early morning Zoom session to talk about the current Fruit. I will give encouragement, and you will be able to ask questions. This will be at 6:30 am, you will find all the login information in our Facebook group, “Beauty Beyond Eden Bible Study,” click here.
Friday evenings we will have a Facebook live at 7:00 pm. I will be answering questions and wrapping up the week. I will also be announcing the winner of our Bible Journaling Box giveaway. Don't miss it, click here.
Thank You for joining me this week, I appreciate your time and I will be praying that God grows Gentleness and Self-control in your heart this week.
Founder and Director of Beauty Beyond Eden
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