Praying for the spiritual fruit of gentleness PDF Print E-mail
Written by Craig Kephart   

41 Oct 8Alexis wasn't sure what to do about her pregnancy. Abortion seemed like the better way out, but Alexis feared the caustic crowds who gathered at the local clinic. She had volunteered there herself, just a couple years ago, and never quite got used to the militant Christians chanting slogans and pressing hard after the women who came for help.

So Alexis monitored the pro-lifers protests and deliberately slipped in late on a Tuesday, when no one was around. "I just didn't want anyone giving me any trouble," she later told a friend. "There was just all of this shouting," she recalled. "I suppose things might have been different if someone had been willing to just talk to me instead of talking at me." And then with sorrow in her voice Alexis acknowledged, "I suppose I might be here with my baby now, if someone had only done that."

In a chapter entitled "Abortion and Church Discipline" authors Terry Schlossberg and Elizabeth Achtemeier remind Christians of our gospel instruction to be gentle in dealing with those caught up in abortion.

Some women confess their sin in contrition, while others demonstrate hardened or deadened consciences in defending their decisions. The church should approach every woman with gentleness, extending to her the forgiveness available in Christ, as well as the hope of complete restoration to fellowship with God and with the church, and of new and obedient, joyful life in Christ.

(Not My Own: Abortion and the Marks of the Church.
Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995. pg. 101)

This season let's sprinkle our prayers with a desire for the spiritual fruit of gentleness in our ministries and witness. Desiring to be like Christ, we are called to be apt reflections of the Savior's love and grace, displaying the "wisdom from above that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere" (Jas. 3:17 ESV).

Rev. Craig Kephart is the Executive Presbyter of Washington Presbytery and a member of the Presbyterians Pro-Life Board of Directors.




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