2014 began with our 21 Days of Reflection. This was a time that we dedicated to a time of reflection with God. During that time I was also studying I Timothy 3 with my study group The Kings Men. The following is and excerpt from my personal journal during that time. While preparing for this post I felt the Holy Spirit guide me to release this. I hope it reaches its intended destination.
From DAY 10 of 21 Days of Reflection Journal 1.22.14
When I think of Jesus being gentle, I think of that picture we’ve all seen with Him and the children. Or the one where He’s holding a lamb. Jesus is obviously more than just some guy walking around being sweet and gentle all the time. So what does this mean? This “being gentle and not violent”?
Didn’t Jesus get mad? Didn’t He get violent in the Temple? Didn’t He clear the marketers and lenders from the Temple courts with a whip made from a bundle of cord? Think about that… Ever braided something? Takes a little time. Jesus had to think about how angry these people made Him while He braided a whip together and cleared the Temple courts. He then turned over their tables scattering their money and goods everywhere. (Mat 21:12-13, John 2:15, Mark 11:15). Yeah… that sounds gentle [insert sarcastic face crinkling here]
That incident makes it clear. There is a time to be violent. Yes… a time and a reason. I believe there is a time and a place to show your teeth, but it is not in your everyday life. If someone threatens your family that is time to be violent. Seriously, you’re probably not going to talk a crazed burglar into singing hymns with you. Your actions may need to be violent in order to stand up for what is right on behalf of the Kingdom of God. Or perhaps to stand up for others who are unwilling because of oppression. Maybe for the defenseless as well. I think what is meant by be gentle and not violent is in our everyday lives. Something as simple as not being so harsh with one another just because it is our nature.
I think this direction from I Timothy 3 is more about gentleness and less about violence. It’s about treating others well and not responding in every moment with harsh words or fists.
When it comes to being a father I believe it means listening instead of accusing. Helping my children understand and discover the right path to take. Isn’t that what Jesus does with us? Doesn’t he listen and guide us by the Holy Spirit to the paths we should take? Doesn’t Jesus put us on his lap and say, “What about this way? If you go down this path what will happen? Do you think that’s the best idea? What is the fruit of this situation?” Doesn’t He treat us gently and not violently?
This gentleness does NOT mean to roll over like a doormat. Being gentle does not mean putting up with violent attacks on us as humans. We must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and submit to Him. We must treat each other with gentleness and be ready, willing, and able to defend those that belong to God. Trust Him and He will show us the gentle road. Being gentle does not mean hanging up our sword. It means carrying our sword and shield with honor and knowing when to use them. Only when The Lord commands.
After all the shield is our Faith. The sword we carry is the Word of God. These weapons should only be used against evil and only in the Spirit of God. (Eph 6:10-19)
Readers, please keep Brian’s mom in your prayers. If you have been following Brian’s Mom Updates on Facebook you know. She is dealing with some extremely difficult circumstances to say the least. Please pray with me to ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen her with God’s strength and give her a cheerful heart.
In addition to that request I ask you to be praying for my friend Heather Dawkins and her family. They have suffered a tremendous loss with her father’s passing. Pray for God to strengthen her family through this time.