October 22, 2023 / Sunder Krishnan
This Sunday, guest pastor Sunder Krishnan continued our sermon series on the Fruit of the Spirit with gentleness. Sunder taught that in order to be gentle or meek it’s important to trust God to protect our rights as He sees fit and be angry at the right things, for the right reasons, for the right amount of time.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).
- Be angry and do not sin (Psalm 4:4; Ephesians 4:26)
- We are to be angry in such a way that we do not sin in our expression of the anger.
- Three strands of meaning that illuminate the meaning of gentleness, or meekness
- Meekness is not weakness, but power under control (we see this in Abraham)
- Meekness is a controlled expression of anger; the ability to be angry with the right person for the right reason for the right amount of time (we see this in Moses)
- Meekness reflects a right opinion of yourself before God that expresses itself in relationship with people; learn to look for the kernel of truth in every criticism instead of looking at it as a violation of your rights (we see this again in Moses; he got angry but expressed his anger before God, not the Israelites)
- Gentleness, or meekness, is power under control, especially controlling the emotion of anger when criticized or when one’s rights are violated
- We can be angry in His presence. We are to confess sinful expressions of anger and ask Him to satisfy our violated rights and for the Holy Spirit to give us grace to respond like Jesus.
- The problem is we can take matters into our own hands and move too quickly that we miss what the Holy Spirit wants to do in us and through us, and in the lives of one another, and miss out on the very way Jesus would respond.
- Jesus only asks us to do what He does himself; He learned humility and meekness as a human
- We are to turn the other cheek, take the insult without retaliation, give the other more than their legal right, offer to do more than asked, give and lend freely when asked (Matthew 5:39-42)
- Why bother? It’s so much easier to explode, get it off your chest, and move on….
- Until we grasp the why, we won’t be able to endure the how
- Refusing to deal with anger according to God’s blueprint will give a foothold to the devil
- Dealing with anger according to God’s will gives us freedom from bondage
- If we don’t pray the anger, we will become the anger. We become like the object of our emotional focus. Let the object be Jesus so we can become like Him
COMMUNITY GROUP DISCUSSION:
The below are the reflection questions Sunder introduced at the end of his sermon:
- Power under control:
- With whom and in what situations do you need to be less assertive, aggressive and demanding and instead hold your rights loosely, trusting in God to protect and guard your rights as He sees fit?
- Controlled expression of anger:
- Reflect on anger you might be carrying towards a person(s) right now. Is it flowing out of a zeal for Gods honour? Have you held it for right amount of time? In what situations and with whom do you need to move beyond righteous anger to plead God’s grace for them?
- Self control when criticized:
- What is your most common response criticism? How might that change if you really believe God would defend you?
- What is the kernel of truth in any recent criticism you may have received?