Published 11:01 am Wednesday, August 22, 2018
St. Frances de Sales once said, “Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” That thought is contrary to most of what we are taught today. We are supposed to push and prod our way to the top. Step on and over people who get in our way. “It’s a rat race.” “It’s cut-throat out here.” However, as followers of Jesus, we are to live in such a way that we are able to bear the fruit of gentleness. Paul talks about clothing ourselves in gentleness, but throughout the ages, our bible thumping preachers and teachers have scared us with God’s wrath. So where is the gentleness in that?
Gentleness comes out of God’s patience and faithfulness toward us. While God could be mad at us for all the contrary things we do … God is gentle in the blessings he continues to give us in spite of our sinful endeavors. Every day he feeds you doesn’t he? Every day you have clothes to wear, right? He never withholds the air you need to breathe? The biggest example of God’s gentleness though, comes in the form of His son, who died on a cross, suffering so we didn’t have to. I’d say that’s pretty gentle, wouldn’t you?
I don’t know if you have ever had the opportunity to hold a baby bird in your hand? If you have, you know that you have to be very gentle and careful with it. It seems so fragile. Then when it accidently, on-purpose, pokes you with its newly formed sharp beak; it would be easy to just squeeze it, choke it, drop it or throw it.
We serve a God that, when He gets poked, continues to gently embrace us and eternally love us. Thank goodness for God’s gentleness. My hope is that we might grow to be as gentle too.
Tim Beck is pastor of Kenbridge United Methodist Church. His email address is revtimbeck@ gmail.com.