gentleness πραΰτης (2-11)
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with gentleness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:19–21 (ESV)] (meekness)
These words were written by James in his letter to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations. Our key word for today is gentleness. Our key Bible verse is:
[T]he fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. [Galatians 5:22–25 (NIV84)]
What the world teaches regarding various opinions and how to succeed is to 'WIN' at all costs. The ends justify the means and if you can out YELL or out berate your opponent; or if you can silence those who differ with you - do it! It is acceptable to be rude and crude - an in your face - taunting strategy. This goes directly contrary to God's spiritual gift of gentleness.
Listen to the advice that the Apostle Paul gives to the young pastor by the name of Timothy: 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. [2 Timothy 2:23–26 (ESV)]
Jesus has won the victory and those on the side of the devil are already defeated - no matter how good they are at being irate or silencing Christians.
This has been Pastor Ricky Jacob of Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and preschool, of Winnebago. I close with these words of the apostle Paul: I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, [Ephesians 4:1–2 (ESV)]