“God blesses those who are gentle. The whole earth will belong to them!” Matthew 5:5
Jesus makes quite a promise to those who are gentle—they will inherit the earth! What does it mean to be gentle? Rather than weakness, as many believe, gentleness is defined as strength under control. It defuses conflict. It disarms critics. It is persuasive. It is attractive. It communicates love. It earns respect. It witnesses to unbelievers. It makes me like Jesus. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of gentleness.
Open your group with a prayer. This is only a guide – select the points you want to discuss.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)
1. When we’re in conflict, what advice does Proverbs 15:1 have for us? Lowering your voice in response to heated words will often have this desired effect. Discuss how this can defuse situations past or present.
2. When we are attacked or criticized, responding with gentleness will disarm our critics. How does this exemplify the definition of gentleness–strength under control?
3. To practice gentleness this week apply this statement, “When someone disagrees with me, be tender without surrender.” In what situations can you anticipate applying this concept during the week?
4. Imagine this scenario: You are serving food in a restaurant and you bring the wrong order to the customer. He is hungry, cranky, and late for an appointment. How would you feel if he treated you harshly? How would you feel if he was kind to you? How can you develop an attitude of gentleness in your own life?
Patience and gentle talk can convince a ruler and overcome any problem. Proverbs 25:15 (CEV)
5. Give an example of a time when you were not gentle in speaking to your boss or a person who had authority over you. What did you learn through that experience?
6. How do you apply God’s love to a situation when you don’t feel loving?
“A woman of gentle grace will be respected.” Proverbs 11:16 (Msg)
7. Gentleness is a prerequisite to leadership—in any area of life. We follow those we respect. Share examples of leaders that demonstrate this. How can you improve your leadership by exhibiting strength under control?
“Believers should never speak evil of anyone, nor be quarrelsome. Instead they should be gentle and show courtesy to everyone.” Titus 3:2 (GW)
8. Why does Titus direct us, as Christian witnesses, to be gentle and polite to everyone? Consider this statement, “When someone disappoints me, be gentle, not judgmental.” Discuss examples of what this looks like. If this is a personal concern, ask for prayer today.