Pssst. . .I have a secret. . .don’t tell anyone, but I have lots of insecurities. I’m not completely confident in myself. Now, I know deep down inside that I have gifts God has blessed me with, but I second guess myself and think lowly of myself far too often. That is why I struggle with gentleness. As much of a challenge as it is to apply it, I love this word! Now we won’t get into the particles and particulars of the Greek, but the root of the Greek word for gentleness is the same as meekness.
Many of you may have heard me talk about this word, “meekness.” Most people think of meekness as quiet or timid or weak, but the Greek word is actually translated as “power with reserve” or “strength under control.” Like I said, I love this word! Strength under control is such a cool concept, and that’s gentleness.
Picture someone holding a baby and the strength with which they hold it tenderly under control. Power with reserve. It’s a strength but it is controlled and directed, applied intentionally. My challenge with gentleness, and strength under control, are my insecurities. I might be right. I might know I’m right (I normally am right!) but unfortunately I often have to have the person I’m dealing with know that I’m right. I want them to know, and since I’m not always completely confident, I want them to know that I have the power to make them understand that, but I don’t always use that power with reserve.
In 2 Timothy 1:7 it says, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” My insecurities are from my flesh. My flesh makes me scared about how people may view me. The Spirit God gives me is one of power and love. There is no fear in love (1 John 4:18). I don’t want people to think lowly of me. I want to show my intelligence and abilities. But that’s my flesh, and if I function through the flesh I will continue to be timid about myself and continue to feel the need to prove myself.
When I allow the Holy Spirit of God to work through me, that Spirit of love, power and self-discipline produces gentleness. Whether I’m showing or telling, teaching, debating or just explaining myself, I have a power and strength to make my point, and the fruit of gentleness is that power with reserve and that strength under control.