Let Your Gentleness Be Evident to All
July 2, 2017
As I was reading this week from the conclusion of Paul’s letter, I was struck by one of his final instructions: “Let your gentleness be evident to all.” (Philippians 4:5) Seems like of all the qualities Paul could have emphasized, that gentleness isn’t really that important. Then I started thinking about the opposite of gentleness, and how that pervasive “not gentle” is: harshness, critical, unkindness, rudeness, insensitivity, self-promotion, and hatred seem to rule the day.
If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t give a lot of thought to being gentle. Perhaps we identify gentleness with weakness, and therefore think it is something to be avoided. In reality, however, gentleness requires great strength. To choose tenderness, self-control, love, kindness, empathy, understanding- all of the things that define gentleness, demands great courage.
Jesus was described as follows: “He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged…”
(Isaiah 42:2-4) This week might we be a force of gentleness. Our world will notice, and be better for it.