Gentleness Is Not Weakness
“Let your gentleness be obvious to everyone. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:5
We don’t hear much talk about gentleness these days. We do however hear far more about toughening up, sucking it up and never letting them see you sweat. What does gentleness really mean? Society has pared gentleness with weakness and in so doing we often miss the beauty and strength found in the gentleness of Jesus Christ. To be gentle is to have a temperament that exudes kindness, tenderness, compassion, and a calm presence. It is not harsh or severe in actions. Jesus, by His kind and quiet nature, set an example of gentleness. Sure there were times that Jesus exhibited zeal and righteous indignation. We see this in Matthew 21:12-13. Jesus’ ministry centered on the calling and drawing of people to Himself, through forbearance and gentleness. In Paul’s letter to Titus, he instructs Titus “Remind the believers to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient and ready for every good work, to malign no one, and to be peaceable and gentle, showing full consideration to everyone. (Titus 3:1-2). Jesus calls us to learn from Him, the Master of gentleness. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29). Jesus gives us a place of rest where we can learn from Him and obtain godly wisdom for living life. In man’s pursuit of wisdom however the lines can become blurred. James 3:17 clarifies this for us, ”But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy.”There’s the word again; gentle. Gentleness is not a vice but rather a virtue. It is named among the fruits of the Spirit, “gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:23). Our Lord Himself is gracious and gentle and aren’t you glad He is? Jesus comes to us in power, yes, but also in love and gentleness. Look at the action/reaction in Philippians 4:5: Action: Let your gentleness be obvious to everyone. Reaction: People will see that “The Lord is near.” Never underestimate the power of gentleness and its ability to point others to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Gentleness brings unity and power, not weakness. “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:1-2). Do not fear showing gentleness to others. Remember, you are in good company.
Heavenly Father, make me more like You. Let my heart be gentle, my words graced with kindness and my life be a witness to Your faithfulness and lovingkindness, in Jesus’ Name, amen.