Rick Joyner’s Word For the Week: The Weapon of Gentleness

Whether we can accept this about ourselves or not, we all try to make God into our image at times.

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Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart…” (Matthew 11:29). It is extraordinary that the first thing Jesus says that we need to learn from Him is gentleness. This elevates gentleness to a high priority, and we must seek to know His definition of gentleness.

We often think of gentleness as being mild-mannered, or the kind of carefulness that could hold a baby bird and not injure it. We can see this gentleness in Jesus as He healed the sick, as He taught and led those who were like sheep without a shepherd, as He drew the little children to Himself. But was He also being gentle when driving the money changers out of the temple? Or when He was confronting the Pharisees for their hypocrisy?

We must conclude that He was gentle even in these situations, but how can that be? In Romans 11:22 we are told to “Behold then the kindness and severity of God.” God is both kind and severe. He is not one of these one day and the other the next, but He is both kind and severe all of the time. His kindness does not negate His severity, and neither does His severity negate His kindness. His severity is a part of His kindness, and His kindness is severe.

Whether we can accept this about ourselves or not, we all try to make God into our image at times. Perhaps the height of human presumption is to think that God thinks just like we do. However, His ways are much higher than our ways. When we read that He is a jealous God, for example, we often relate this to human jealousy that is selfish and fearful. God’s jealousy is not, but His jealousy is for our sake, and for the sake of His glory and holiness. This is not to just defend these aspects of His nature, but these are the foundations of truth and life. We are even told that Jesus was declared the Son of God by power and the resurrection by “the Spirit of holiness” (see Romans 1:4).

How could the Lord’s treatment of the money changers and His rebukes for the Pharisees have been a manifestation of His gentleness? Consider that Elijah called down fire on soldiers just for insulting him, and this insult to the temple of God, and to the Son of God Himself was far more grievous than what was done to Elijah. In light of a number of previous acts of God, we would have to consider Jesus’ response to both the money changers and the Pharisees to be very mild and gentle.

Our human tendency is toward dualistic thinking that tends to perceive in extremes. So we can consider one type of behavior to always be kindness or severity that can only be rightly discerned when we consider the setting and the timing. As great a prophet as Elijah was, he was not the Son of God, and Jesus was incredibly gracious to those who attacked and insulted Him in comparison.

There is another aspect to gentleness that is often a magnificent demonstration of noble character—good manners. This is why those who have good manners are called “gentlemen” or “gentle ladies.” Good manners are basically a way that we honor and show respect for others. They have become so rare in these times that when they are seen they can stand out even more as those who are of a different spirit. Since the Lord said that as we treat even the least of His people He will regard it as the way that we treat Him; we should be treating everyone with the highest respect and good manners.

It seems like the world was a far gentler and friendlier place when good manners were considered essential behavior. The degrading of manners in America has been in parallel to the way we have allowed God to be removed from our culture, only to be replaced by increasing disrespect and intolerance for others, and has increased into rage and violence.

To be truly gentle does not mean that we become timid mealy-mouthed pushovers. Jesus was not but boldly stood up to His accusers, calling them hypocrites, until it was time to go to the cross. Then He stood mute before them. Since His exhortation was to learn from Him we, too, must keep in mind that there is a time for peace and a time for war (see Ecclesiastes 3), there is a time to respond to accusations and opposers, and a time not to. Even when it is time to challenge our opposers we must keep in mind that we are sons and daughters of the King, and must conduct ourselves with the dignity of those of His household.




© 2021 by Rick Joyner. All rights reserved.


This is an updated edition of a post originally published on MorningStar Ministries

Featured Image by LUM3N from Pixabay

Rick and Julie Joyner founded MorningStar Ministries in 1985. It is a diverse and expanding international ministry that began with the biblical mandate of Matthew 24:45-46:

“Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.”

Rick has authored more than fifty books, including The Final Quest TrilogyThere Were Two Trees in the GardenThe Path, and Army of the Dawn. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of MorningStar Ministries, a multi-faceted mission organization that includes Heritage International MinistriesMorningStar UniversityMorningStar Fellowship of Churches and Ministries. Click here to take a look at Rick’s latest Rant #ricksrants

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About the Author

MorningStar Ministries is a Kingdom Winds Contributor. They are a diverse and expanding international ministry founded by Rick and Julie Joyner in 1985. MorningStar's goal is to help strengthen the church by helping believers become the strongest Christians possible, and therefore true light and salt in the earth.