“Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom” (James 3:13).
A wise person is a gentle person.
A believer will demonstrate that he possesses the wisdom of God not only by his behavior, but also by his attitude. True wisdom is characterized by gentleness and is the opposite of self-promotion and arrogance. Gentleness is the trait that characterized our Lord. In Matthew 11:29 He says, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.” It is also a trait belonging to all the members of His kingdom. In Matthew 5:5 the Lord says, “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” “Gentleness” is also a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23).
The word translated “gentleness” is from the Greek word praus, which can also be translated “meek” or “tender.” Praus is often used of a gentle voice, a gentle breeze, or a gentle animal. It was also used of a horse that was broken. The Greeks characterized meekness as power under control; in the believer’s case, that means being under the control of God. It’s a freedom from malice, bitterness, or any desire for revenge. The only way to truly define meekness is in the context of relationships because it refers to how we treat others. It should characterize our relationship with both man and God.
How about your attitude? Is it characterized by meekness, humility, gentleness, and mildness, or do you tend to display an arrogant, selfish attitude toward others?
Suggestions for Prayer
Christ is the perfect example of gentleness. Thank Him for this attribute, and ask Him to help you be like Him.
For Further Study
• In 1 Thessalonians 2:7 what analogy does Paul use to characterize his ministry?
• Also read 2 Timothy 2:24 and Titus 3:2. To whom should we be gentle?
From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187