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Activated September 2013

Gentleness - September 2013

God is big and powerful beyond our comprehension, and yet He treats us with utmost tenderness and loving care. Read on to see how we can emulate that to make “gentleness” a strength in our own lives.
 

01-09-2013
Tender Strength
Tender Strength

In our series on the fruits of the Spirit, we’ve reached the eighth fruit, named prautes in the original Greek text—and as it turns out, that’s a particularly tricky word to interpret. In his commentary on Galatians 5:23, Scottish theologian William Barclay (1907–1978) went so far as to say that “prautes is the most untranslatable of words in the New Testament.” It’s been translated variously as “meekness” and “gentleness.”

In the course of working on this issue, I’ve compiled my personal definition of what the concept means to me. Here it is, briefly:

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01-09-2013
The Winning Play
The Winning Play

In my junior year at college, I was elected coach of my fraternity’s football team. My first and most important decision was to appoint our quarterback (QB), the player (in American football) who calls the plays and organizes the offensive. I wanted a QB who would listen to my advice and who was respected by the other players, and of course, he also needed to be able to pass the ball, run, and be a good all-round athlete.

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01-09-2013
The Stuff Heaven Is Made Of
The Stuff Heaven Is Made Of

A tribute to my father

I don’t want to put my father on a pedestal. He wouldn't have wanted that. He was always self-effacing, and I can't remember him ever seeking honor for himself. When someone would praise him, he’d point heavenward, to his Creator, and give God the glory.

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01-09-2013
Appreciation in the Workplace
Appreciation in the Workplace

Appreciation is a human need. It’s not just something that’s nice to have when possible, but something that each person needs in order to be happy and to thrive. That’s true in every setting, but it’s perhaps nowhere more evident than in the workplace. When people feel genuinely appreciated by those they work for and with, they’re much more likely to be excellent contributors and “team players.”

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01-09-2013
Teamwork and Synergy
Teamwork and Synergy

Often when people think of leadership, the image of the strong, self-assured, authoritative leader comes to mind—the man who uses his charismatic style to drive his team or company to success.

In today’s world, though, good managers realize that they can’t bring success to their business entirely through their own ideas, drive, and talents. Adopting and maintaining a sense of community is an essential factor in the progress of organizations, and a wise leader multiplies his efforts by relying on the capabilities and talents of his entire team.

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01-09-2013
Our Humble Savior
Our Humble Savior

Let’s take a look at how Jesus’ character is manifested through some of the key events in His life.

 

Born in a barn
[Mary] wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.—Luke 2:7 ESV

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01-09-2013
Always Content
Always Content

The best high-and-low experience I had was when I was living in Uganda and joined a mission to the former child soldiers in Gulu, the same kids you see in the movie, Machine Gun Preacher.1 We brought tons of donated food and showed the movie Jesus2 with a running Acholi translation. We had to use a generator to show the movie on a projector, as there was no electricity.

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01-09-2013
Power to the Meek
Power to the Meek

God instructs us to be meek and humble in our dealings with others …

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.—Ephesians 4:2 NLT

Try your best to please God and to be like him. Be faithful, loving, dependable, and gentle.—1 Timothy 6:11 CEV

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01-09-2013
7 Great Ways to a Humbler You
7 Great Ways to a Humbler You

Most of us wouldn’t mind being a little more humble, but oh, how we hate to be humbled! That hurts our pride, but that kind of pain is good for us if we can welcome it and let it accomplish its purpose. Remember the mantra of Olympians: No pain, no gain!

 

1. Look for the best in people. Everyone has had some experience you haven’t had and is therefore your superior in that respect. As the American scholar and author George Herbert Palmer (1842–1933) said, “I am defeated, and know it, if I meet any human being from whom I find...

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01-09-2013
Gentleness—The Winsome Fruit
Gentleness—The Winsome Fruit

A gentle spirit is one of the keys to success with people. It can make all the difference in how open others are to our opinions and ideas.

Jesus is pictured in the Bible as a lamb,1 a mother hen,2 and a gentle, concerned shepherd.3 He said of Himself, “I am gentle and lowly in heart.”4 He didn’t force anyone to believe in or follow Him; He showed compassion, and gently wooed people into His heavenly kingdom by His loving example.

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01-09-2013
Under Control
Under Control

I like the definition of meekness that’s in my Bible dictionary. It says meekness is “an attitude of humility toward God and gentleness toward men, springing from a recognition that God is in control.” It is strength and courage under control, coupled with kindness.

This kind of meekness is having faith and peace, because you know God’s in control. You can be mild and quiet of nature, because you’re full of faith. You have the assurance that God’s going to work things out no matter how incredibly overwhelming or desperate the situation might be.

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01-09-2013
Angry with Evil
Angry with Evil

Question: I realize that love and humility are Christian virtues, but what about when you see injustice? I sometimes get so upset when I read about some of the terrible things going on in the world. Is it always wrong to be angry?

 

Answer: “Don’t be quick to fly off the handle” is one interpretation of the scriptural advice about anger,1 but it doesn’t mean that we should never be stirred up about anything.

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01-09-2013
How to Have a Happier Home
How to Have a Happier Home

According to Dr. James H. Bossard, a former professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the greatest weaknesses in family life is the way parents talk in front of their children. After studying extensive recordings of table talk, he wrote, “I have found that family after family had definite, consistent conversational habits, and that the critical pattern was the most prevalent. These families rarely had a good word to say about anyone. They complained continuously about friends, relatives, neighbors—almost every aspect of their lives, from the lines of people in the supermarket to the stupidity of their...

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01-09-2013
Regaining the Plot
Regaining the Plot

Ever feel like you’ve “lost the plot”? You’re reading a novel and can’t quite figure out who is who, or you tuned out during a film and now it doesn’t seem to make sense anymore. Your life is busy, busy, yet sometimes you’re no longer sure who you are or where you’re headed.

 

Jonah lost the plot when he ran away from God. God had told him to go to Nineveh and deliver a warning; but Jonah didn’t fancy that, and instead he caught a boat headed in the opposite direction. It could have been a voyage into oblivion, as he...

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01-09-2013
Learning Meekness
Learning Meekness

Come to Me when you are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest and teach you how to be meek, like I am.1 The meekness I’m referring to is really strength, but it is manifested with gentleness and kindness. It doesn’t need to assert itself or boast, because it knows its strength.

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01-09-2013
The Thorn Factor
The Thorn Factor

I don’t think that God intended any marriage to be perfect. I think of it as the “thorn” factor that He allows into the equation—that element that we shrink from, but that He knows we need. You may wonder, Why would we need differences of opinion, sensitivities, misunderstandings, jealousies, resentments, comparing, sacrificing, arguments, emotional upsets, fears, heartbreaks, and adversity? Those things don’t sound like they would build a very strong marriage.

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