Questions and going deeper resources
Connect What is one area in which you could grow in patience by trusting God’s purposes and timing more?
- In what ways does our culture (or world) prefer aggression over gentleness? (Try to name examples.)
- Can you think of a time when someone was gentle with you? How did that feel?
(Re)Read Galatians 5:22-25
- How do other aspects of the fruit of the Spirit help us to be gentle?
- If patience is about steadfastness even in the face of persecution and provocation (trusting God’s purposes and timing), how is gentleness different? How does gentleness relate to how we deploy our power?
Read John 8:2-11
- How is this passage a beautiful example of Jesus’ gentleness? Can you think of other examples?
- How was Jesus’ “way of gentleness” distinctive to the culture and ways of the ancient world?
- What are the religious elite trying to do to Jesus? As they seek to condemn the women, what processes (as set out by the law) have they conveniently ignored? Why might that be?
- As they try to entrap Jesus, how does Jesus demonstrate incredible humility?
- What rights does Jesus have? How does gentleness often begin with a willingness to lay our rights down?
- Does being ‘in the right’ give us permission to disregard gentleness? Do you think this ever happens?
- What was Jesus writing on the ground? Why was he writing on the ground? When confronted with a situation that tempts you to aggression, what might be a helpful habit to slow down your response?
- How does Jesus respond to the religious leaders? Why was this response convicting and disarming?
- When you’ve been confronted with aggression, have you witnessed the power of gentleness to disarm?
- Does Jesus condone or ignore the sin of the woman? How does this point to God’s gentle desire to forgive?
- How did Jesus carry the full force of condemnation so that we can stand free from condemnation?
- When do you find gentleness most challenging? What might help you to choose gentleness?
Apply Practise gentleness this week by trying (at least once) to choose humility (over rights), invitation (over force), or forgiveness (over condemnation).
On Your Front Line this Week
Who are the three people you are praying for to invite to Alpha?
- Download: some of the family resources to use at home: stbartskids.org
Listen, Watch, and Read
- Listen (Sermon): “Gentleness” by Brandon Bennett: https://gospelinlife.com/downloads/gentleness/
- Listen (Sermon): “The Gentleness of Jesus” by Tim Keller: https://gospelinlife.com/downloads/the-gentleness-of-jesus-5157/
- Read (Book): “Humilitas” by John Dickson:
St Bart’s Library: https://www.librarycat.org/lib/stbart/item/193122505
- Watch (Video): “Why I changed my mind about Christianity”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDa4vpkNKeQ
- Read (Book): “Dominion” by Tom Holland: Purchase: https://bit.ly/46gnRRI
- Read (Book): “Gentle and Lowly” by Dane C. Ortlund: https://bit.ly/3Za91cV
- Read (Article): “The Art of Gentleness” by Michael Jensen:
- Book: “Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: Growing in Christ’s Likeness” by Christopher Wright: https://bit.ly/3sE81la
- Book: “Friendship with God” by Mike McKinley: https://bit.ly/3RdCkc A
- Sermon Series: “Fruit of the Spirit and the Character of Jesus” by Timothy Keller: https://bit.ly/3r5alRY
- Book (regarding patience): “Becoming Friends of Time” by John Swinton: https://bit.ly/45YskJ7 (or in the St Bart’s Library: https://bit.ly/3r5dyRo )