By Allen Domelle, Old Paths Journal
2 Corinthians 10:1
“Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:”
If I were going to grow a garden, I would need some tools to plant it and maintain it until the harvest. Some of the tools of gardening would be a shovel, rototiller, rake, wheelbarrow, hoe, and a water hose. Each of these tools helps in planting and maintaining a garden. However, each tool cannot be used without another tool. For instance, I wouldn’t use a shovel to get rid of the weeds, but I would use a hoe to help get the weeds out of the furrows. Likewise, I would not use a hoe to dig up the area where I am going to plant the garden, but I would use a rototiller to break up the ground and a shovel to dig the holes necessary to plant the seed. Every tool has its place, and every tool is important in the planting and growing of a garden.
Likewise, you will never be used to grow other people in the Christian walk without the proper tools. Let me make this clear that you will never enjoy your Christian walk without investing your life in others to see them grow in grace. Your personal growth is dependent upon you investing your efforts to help others to grow, but you will never grow others without using the proper tools to grow them. In the verse above, the Apostle Paul identifies four tools that are needed in helping others to grow in grace.
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Meekness is the first tool needed to help grow others. Meekness is power under control. In other words, meekness keeps power from hurting others. Meekness is like an elevator in that it has the power to take you to the top floor, but it knows which floor to stop at so that you can help someone. You will never be used to your potential without meekness.
Gentleness is the second tool needed to help grow others. You cannot run over people and expect them to grow in the LORD. Many leaders have forgotten to be gentle with people in their failures, and have discouraged them to the point of quitting because they were not gentle as they dealt with them.
Power is the third tool needed to help grow others. If there is meekness then there must be power. You cannot grow people without action. People grow through action, and you must learn to motivate and push people in order for them to grow. Nobody has grown in the Christian life by being static, but they grow through activity. A leader must be willing to push people to do more if they are going to grown.
Boldness is the fourth tool needed to help grow others. You cannot be timid and push people to grow. A leader must be courageous enough to step out by faith if they are going to motivate others to go with them. People won’t follow timid, fearful, and apologetic leaders, because these types of leaders don’t motivate people to want to do something great for God. A leader must be bold and willing to push people beyond what they think they can do to help them to grow.
However, the key to all of this is to balance these tools out with each other. For instance, power must use meekness to keep from hurting others, but meekness needs power to keep from becoming lazy. Boldness needs gentleness to keep from destroying people, but gentleness needs boldness to keep from compromise. My friend, you will never grow people without these four tools, and they all must be used together to maximize what the LORD wants to do through you to help others to grow.
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