A Gentle Spirit

A Gentle Spirit

A gentile spirit is not often observed in our day. Many have harsh spirits displayed openly to all. Do you have a long or a short fuse? It is rare that a person remains gentle every hour of every day. When a believer is harsh and disgruntled it is not because the fruit of the Spirit is not available–it is because he/she is walking in the flesh. You can either walk in the Spirit or walk in the flesh, but you cannot do both at the same time.

Have you ever been to Disney World? It is proclaimed as the happiest place on earth! My wife and I were visiting there and observed many families. They were supposed to be happy in this happiest place on earth. While watching those families we discovered that not everyone was happy. Many of them had short fuses. Their wonderful environment did not seem to have a positive effect on their negative spirit.

Obvious problems in the visiting families of the happiest place on earth needed to be addressed. Yet, to address a problem does not mean it is a painless experience. Suppose I have a splinter in my hand and I ask you to remove the splinter. The use of a needle to help extract the splinter would be helpful. A needle is not gentle, but I hope that in the process of using the needle you will be gentle. You cannot ignore a splinter. The pain continually reminds you of its presence. Hopefully you can find someone with a gentle hand to help you. Some things in our personal lives are also not pleasant to deal with, but need help.

Have you noticed how people can sound gentle with part of their statement and then slam you with the rest of their statement? Many famous people have made humorous quotes that illustrate this backhanded gentleness. Notice these examples:

• Abraham Lincoln said, of a man he didn’t care for, “He can press the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.” He may have said it gentle but the message was not very gentle.

• Winston Churchill remarked, “That man has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”

• William Faulkner said, about Ernest Hemingway, “He’s never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”

• Oscar Wilde stated, “He has no enemies but is intensely disliked by his friends.”

• Steven Bishop said this, “I feel so miserable without you it’s almost like having you here.”

• Groucho Marx said, “You’ve got the brain of a four-year-old boy and I bet he was glad to get rid of it.”

Sometimes our intention is to be gentle, but we say the wrong things. Gentleness reveals a long fuse. Endurance of a difficult situation with a gentle spirit helps calm a situation. A gentle spirit produced by God’s Spirit has no harshness, even in the intent of the spoken word or in the atmosphere left in a room. Ask God to help you improve your consistency of walking in His Spirit so that gentleness increases.

But the fruit of the Spirit is…gentleness…

Galatians 5:23

*Adapted from The Christian Life: A Human Impossibility by Kerry L. Skinner 

What is My Problem?

What is My Problem?

What is my problem? I hear this question asked over and over by sincere people looking for solutions to difficulties in life. Most often the issue is about overcoming anxiety, stress, and frustration. Let’s first set the context by considering this passage from Proverbs:

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. (Prov. 3:7-8).

One of our responsibilities as Christians is to be witnesses to weary travelers who are trying to use human resources to deal with sin. The collapse of family life and the escalation of dishonesty, stealing, violence, crime, physical and sexual abuse speaks for itself. Our world needs a good dose of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Solutions

Many in our day wonder whether their problem can be solved by spending time in the solitude of some peaceful place or whether they must see their doctor for medical help. Christian’s minds are confused by the constant magazine articles, newspaper clippings, and news reports that claim a cure to the monotony of life. They wonder whether their problem is physical, emotional, or spiritual. Where do they turn when everyone is claiming to have the answer?

Am I depressed? Am I A.D.D.? Do I have a chemical imbalance? Why am I so dissatisfied with life? Can somebody help me? These are the questions that I hear every week as people consult me looking for peace.

Can the biblical counselor be so bold as to claim that the Scriptures have all the answers they are looking for? Maybe a person they counsel started with a sin problem but now has a physical problem too. Now what?

Counselors trained in other than biblical methods seem to think God is not the answer. Family members are tired of going to secular and Christian counselors and churches looking for help but coming up empty. Who really has the answer?

Oriented to Christ

Jesus has the answer but many are so disoriented to a relationship with Him that they can’t seem to find Him. For every born-again believer, He is available twenty-four hours a day yet many cannot sense His presence. How do they get back in tune with Him? IF they do, will Jesus solve their problem? Can Jesus deal with physical issues or is He just interested in your spiritual condition? If your problem is physical, what do you do next?

Maybe you do have a physical problem. If so, go see your doctor and seek help. However, you must not ignore your spiritual condition. Medical doctors have stated to me many times that up to ninety percent of the people who come for help have a problem that did not began physically. Possibly an ulcer has developed. But why? Maybe it is high blood pressure or constant headaches. Sure the problem is physical, but why did it start?[Continue Reading]

We Need You!

We Need You!

Needed Whether You Believe It Or Not

Maybe you don’t feel needed, but we need you! Christians are a part of the body of Christ–His church! If you are a part of Christ then there are believers who really do need you! Our culture has taught us to be independent. Many who are experiencing success in their lives feel no need for others. But, the Bible reveals that Christians should be interdependent–not independent of one another. Read this:

…but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:15-16

I Needed My Friends

Final exams just before graduating from college had just been completed. A group of my friends and I rejoiced that we were finally finished with the university experience and were all going into full-time ministry. We went to the gym to play basketball and work off the tension and stress of finals.

I discovered there is a way to rebound a basketball and a way not to rebound the ball. I went up for a rebound and the ball hit my little finger bending it backward and breaking it in the joint. I looked down and I thought, “that’s not supposed to be like that.” I went to the doctor and the doctor said, “Kerry, you’ve broken the bone right up into the joint, there’s really nothing I can do except put it in a splint.”

In two days, graduation would take place and I would be shaking hands with the president (splint and all) to receive my diploma. I discovered that it is very important to have each member of the body functioning correctly or the wounded member could cause misery for the rest of the body.

Minutes before I was to march into the auditorium for graduation, the tassels hanging from my cap came apart and fell to the floor in a pile of individual strands–two minutes from the processional! I bent to my knees and started trying to pick up those slippery strings and[Continue Reading]

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