Gentleness: a forgotten virtue?
While I think they are useful things, there is such a thing as too heavy a reliance on concordances. Too often people are far too quick to draw all kinds of conclusions about something on the flimsy basis of a few apparently parallel references. However, within certain parameters, they can really be helpful. As, I think, is the case here.
Of course it depends on what circles you move in… some are far better than others. But it strikes me that in some of the orbits I frequent, gentleness is definitely a forgotten virtue. These verses are not entirely random nor unrelated. I’ve grouped them roughly into 3:
A Gentle King
- Matt 11:29 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.
- Matt 21:5 “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”
A Gentle People
- Gal 5:23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
- Gal 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
- Eph 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
- Phil 4:5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
- Col 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
- 1 Pet 3:15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect
A Gentle Ministry
- 1 Thess 2:7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.
- 1 Tim 3:3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
- 1 Tim 6:11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
- 2 Tim 2:25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,
- Heb 5:2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.