Thoughts on Gentleness

This past week was an interesting one. As we at South Ridge Church have been focusing on the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) throughout the Summer, I had the pleasure of studying the topic of Gentleness. Had I been asked to define Gentleness before the message, I’m quite certain my personal definition would not have compared with the definition I discovered in my studies.

According to The Complete Word Study Dictionary, Gentleness, has a dual meaning.

  • Gentleness is not only applied in outward behavior or our relationships with others. But primarily an attitude reflected towards God Himself. It is that attitude of spirt [in which] we accept God’s dealings with us as good and do not dispute or resit.
  • Gentleness is getting angry at the right time, in the right measure, and for the right reason.

Regarding this understanding of Gentleness, I took this opportunity to challenge the people of SRC with two questions:

  • Who and/or What may be preventing you from experiencing the Gentleness of God?
  • Who and/or What may be preventing you from expressing the Gentleness of God?

The beauty of these questions is that there is likely a different answer for each person. One individual may not experience the Gentleness of God due to their own sinful nature (Galatians 5:19-21). They may miss out on experiencing the Gentleness of God because they get involved in things such as pornography, sex outside of marriage, other forms of lust, putting someone or something before God, resenting others for what they have, outburst of anger, intimidating others, regularly disagreeing with others, drunkenness, getting high, and so much more.

Or maybe they don’t get to experience the Gentleness of God due to other things they use to hide from God. Social Media, Entertainment, News, Diet, and so much more. These, too, may be excuses we use to hide from God. We don’t believe His dealings with us are good, which causes frustration. Pain. Hurt. Shame.

These are just some of the things that may be our go-to’s because we don’t accept that God’s dealings with us are good. As a result, we get into a terrible cycle.

We don’t believe God’s dealings with us are good.

         We give into something that’s a part of our sinful nature.

                We don’t experience the Gentleness of God.

                      We don’t believe God’s dealings with us are good.

                           We give into something that’s a part of our sinful nature.

                                We don’t experience the Gentleness of God.

                                     And on and on and on the cycle goes.

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As the cycle continues, we may become more frustrated with God. Or we feel shame, so we hide from God. Or we try to numb our pain by going to something or someone other than God. And the cycle continues. Again. And again. And again.

In order to experience His Gentleness, we must first trust – completely, wholeheartedly, confidently – that God’s dealings with us are good. When we don’t, we miss out on experiencing His Gentleness. And then when we miss out on experiencing His Gentleness, we miss out on being about to express His Gentleness in our other relationships.

So, this week, consider these questions:

  • Who and/or What may be preventing you from experiencing the Gentleness of God?
  • Who and/or What may be preventing you from expressing the Gentleness of God?

Once you’re able to identify (at least) some of the things that may be preventing you from experiencing & expressing the Gentleness of God, only then can you consider how God may be inviting you to experience & express His Gentleness in your relationships with others.

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says.

Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. (James 1:22 NLT)

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SecondCity Update (July 18, 2017)

As you may have seen, I’ve been doing my best to post regular updates to keep you informed about the many great things that are happening with our SecondCity Initiative! If you’re not in the know, our SecondCity Initiative is not only about launching a new Location of South Ridge Church in Bridgeport, WV, it’s also about strengthening the effectiveness of our holistic ministry, and increasing our Missions budget as well.

This week, we have some exiting things happening at our Fairmont Location! Thanks to the generosity and faith of many at South Ridge, we are currently renovating a section of the Family Ministry wing to be set apart as Student Ministry rooms.  They will now be completely separate from the Ridge Kids area so that students can be, well, students.  The rooms will be ready when the Student Ministries launch in the fall (see picture below).

Feel free to continue following along for more updates regarding our SecondCity Initiative, or check out SecondCity.One regularly!

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SecondCity Update (July 7, 2017)

As I’ve written about over the past couple of weekends, we have some really exciting things going on regarding the launch of SecondCity.

David and Amy Cato picnic

One of the things we would like to see happen as part of the Second City faith initiative is a greater involvement in local, regional, and world missions.  In June our SRC was encouraged by the visit of David and Amy Cato.  They are missionaries to Brasov, Romania and we would love to grow our partnership with them in the future.

Stay tuned for details about a short-term mission trip to Brasov, Romania next summer.  (Pictured are David and Amy with some of the SRC staff and members of previous mission trip teams to Romania.)

Feel free to keep up with additional updates here, or at SecondCity.One.