The Gentle Christian

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I am gentle and humble in heart” Matthew 11:28 

I have been rereading The Glorious Pursuit, Embracing the Virtues of Christ by Gary L. Thomas. As before, the content is very thought provoking. Thomas opens with this thoughtful paragraph:

Pause a moment and try to imagine yourself as a person who acts with the compassion of Christ; who has the patience of God Himself; who is discerning; gentle, yet confident; surrendered to the will and purpose of God. This is the life Jesus wants you to inherit, transforming you into a person who is motivated by the beautiful, not the lustful; the generous, not the selfish; the noble, not the conniving; the creative, not the destructive.”

The book is all about embracing the virtues of Christ. One chapter, “The Caressing Life,” expands on the virtue of gentleness, especially the gentleness of Christ.  Jesus describes himself, “I am gentle and humble of heart” (Matthew 28–30).

We are also admonished to “Let your gentleness be evident to all” (Philippians 4:5).

How does this work out in real life? If you have read the Gospels, you know that Jesus was gentle with most people — healing, feeding, preaching, and teaching. He also became angry with phonies and people who were just trying to set Him up, and He told them in no uncertain terms that He knew what they were trying to do.

I was reflecting on this late last night when our doorbell rang. Two women were on our doorstep asking to use our phone because their car had broken down — they needed to call a cab. I hesitated. We live on a busy highway and have had some unpleasant experiences over the years — people such as these requesting help and then lying and stealing thousands of dollars worth of equipment from our barn and garage. However, to be fair, many were honest and just needed help, which we offered. — my husband has helped several women change flat tires.

But how do I embrace a gentle spirit when I have been hurt and/or deceived? There is only one way. Open myself to Christ and ask Him to develop a gentle, discerning spirit within me. For everything that God asks us to do, He also provides the resources. Isn’t that great?

For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey Him, then helping you do what He wants” (Philippians 2:13).

He will produce in us the wisdom to know when to be gentle with people and when to be firm.

By Katherine Kehler
Used by Permission

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