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Daily Reading: Isaiah 37:1-38:22 ESV, Galatians 6:1-18 ESV, Psalm 65:1-13 ESV, Proverbs 23:24 ESV

Daily Verse: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1 ESV)

PRAIOTES (4326): “Gentleness, by implication humility: meekness.”[1]

Implied humility.

Gentleness physically shows humility.  When people falter, they don’t need another beating.  No one condemns us more than we blame ourselves.  Granted, some people don’t think they do anything wrong, justifying their actions in any way they can, for them, pray.  But most people genuinely judge themselves harsher than anyone else ever will.

Instead of compounding the condemnation, help them find restoration as gently as possible.  Since I didn’t have children, I struggled in this area; coming from a strict home with high standards, I didn’t experience much grace.  Bluntly communicating the truth hurts the receiver.  But when we speak with gentleness, we bring restoration.

Gentle rebuke.

As a tennis coach, God’s taught me about self-condemnation.  Students surprise me when I ask them to tell me their thoughts on a particular shot or drill.  Rarely do I hear, “I hit that shot well.”  Almost always, the student points out everything they think they’ve done wrong.

Gently responding means helping them see the good in the situation.  Maybe things didn’t go as planned, but good and evil exist every moment.  Instead of focusing on the sin, celebrate the victory, then identify what they can work on to improve.

Getting my students to refocus their thoughts and think positively takes work.  I help them identify where they think negatively and replace it with something positive.  Whenever I hear someone speak badly to themselves, I try to correct it immediately, so the lie doesn’t take root.

God gave us scripture to help guide our thoughts.  Memorizing verses helps remind us of our identity in Christ.  Using God’s word to lift and encourage others does the same for them.  Jesus doesn’t condemn us; we shouldn’t condemn ourselves.

[1] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p.209) Thomas Nelson

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