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  • Allen Domelle

But We Were Gentle

1 Thessalonians 2:7

But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

Paul reminded the church at Thessalonica that when he came to them, he did not come in deceit or guile but in truth. He reminded them that he was bold when he came in and was not afraid to preach the truth to them. Paul said that though he was bold, he was still gentle among them. He said that as a mom who cherishes a nursing child is gentle with that child, he was that gentle with these people so that they could grow in the LORD.

It is easy to become frustrated with people when you work in the ministry. However, we must realize that our job is to be as firm as they need us to be, but gentle so they can grow in the LORD. Now, being gentle does not mean we are weak; it simply means that we want people to grow in the LORD. There are some people with whom you must be more firm because that is what they need, but there are others you must be gentle with so that you don't drive them away. The key to being gentle is to treat every believer as if they were your own child.

Most parents are more firm with other children than they are with their own. I have watched parents who are very strict with other children not to be strict with their own in hopes that their children will turn out right. It is not that these parents did not care for other children; it is that they so care for their children because they are their own. As a believer, we must treat every person in a gentle manner so they can grow in the LORD. Let me share some thoughts on how to be gentle with other Christians.

First, never forget that every person grows at a different pace. Just because you grew quickly as a believer does not mean that others will grow as quickly as you did. You must be gentle with others because all will not grow at the same pace. One mistake that many make is they compare one believer to one standard of growth when not everyone will grow at the same pace. Therefore, you must be gentle so that everyone grows at their pace. The key that you should be looking for is that there is growth.

Second, being gentle does not mean that you don't put pressure on believers to grow. Being gentle means that you don't put too much pressure on people to grow, causing them to falter. Everyone must have pressure put on them to grow, but being gentle with others is knowing how much pressure an individual can take and not putting more than what they can take on them. For instance, God says in 1 Corinthians 10:13, that He does not put more on us than we can bear. Christ is saying that He is being gentle to put the right amount of pressure on us, but not too much. It takes the wisdom of God to know how much pressure to apply to each individual Christian so that they will grow in the LORD.

Third, being gentle does not mean I am to compromise truth to let an individual grow in the LORD. People cannot grow in the LORD when truth has been compromised; therefore, compromise must never be an option. Truth is always the foundation by which we build our lives, but we must be gentle with how much truth we apply without compromise. Some try to force people to change by meddling in their lives rather than letting the Holy Spirit do the gentle prodding in their hearts to grow. I have learned that prayer helps me to gently lead people to grow much better than me trying to force people to grow.


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