10 Characteristics of Gentleness


READ:  1 Thessalonians 2:5-12

NO FLATTERY: Paul wanted the Thessalonians to know that he had never taken advantage of them. Flattery (v5) is a cheap way to win people's approval. Let's make sure before the Lord that all of our complements are genuinely meant and not designed to win favour.

NO COVETOUSNESS: Paul seems to imply that it is possible to take advantage of people when ministering to them (v5). Let's pray for a maturity in the whole church that prevents this happening. Let’s not limit our prayers to "travelling ministries" but, instead, let's include ourselves and that our motives will always be right.

NO "GLORY SEEKING": We will never really manage to show Jesus to people if we are concerned about our own reputations (v6). Let's pray that we will be really effective in our evangelism, seeking the benefit of others to the glory of God.

NO DEMANDS: Paul as a spiritual father could have required things from the Thessalonians but he chose not to (v6). Let's pray that we will not come across as demanding whilst we are seeking to minister to others.

CHERISHING: The example Paul chooses for gentleness is that of a nursing mother  (v7). To cherish means to prize very highly and to treat with considerable care and tenderness. Perhaps it is not a concept that appeals to some of us but let's pray that it is something that will increasingly show through in our lives.

AFFECTIONATELY LONGING: Paul tells us what his attitude was towards the Thessalonians even before he had preached to them (v8). Has the Lord put the same amount of care in our hearts for those who don't yet know Him? Let's pray that we will develop a similar level of loving concern.

IMPARTING THE GOSPEL: Paul gave people the gospel because he cared. Sharing the gospel in such a way was a real thrill to him (v8). Sometimes we make hard work of evangelism. Let's pray that we will be highly motivated and highly effective. As we pray let's think of the names of any people we might believe that the Lord is already challenging us about.

GIVING OUR LIVES:  Paul gave himself along with the gospel (v8). Let's think about what this means in practical terms and then pray the answers into our lives.

NOT A BURDEN: Paul really wanted to keep the pressure off people (v9). This is a true mark of gentleness. Let's pray that it will be evident in our lives.

EXHORTING, COMFORTING, CHARGING: This is an interesting combination of actions for someone trying to make sure that people stay on course in their Christian lives (vs 11, 12). Let's think about what they mean in practice and pray them into being in ourselves.