Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Let Your Gentleness

Let your gentleness be evident to all…

Those words from this week’s verse have been coming to mind often this week. Honestly, they seem to flash across my mind right AFTER I’ve said or thought something particularly UN-gentle. Of course, the hope would be that as I meditate on this verse, on what the Lord requires of my gentleness, that I would instead be gentle in spirit BEFORE I decide to open my mouth.
Words like soft and quiet come to mind when I think on the word Gentle
Images such a fuzzy kitty cats and cozy warm blankets…

In my fleshly mind this word becomes a fluffy picture of a frail woman content to sit home with her sewing, spineless in more ways than one…

But in my heart - when I seek out this word as Christ’s character – as a trait I so desire, there is a quiet STRENGTH to gentleness...

It’s easier to be rough, I think. To hide emotions, build walls, walk out, stomp loud, yell. For me, it’s easier to block everything out, bring up my armor and sit surrounded by something steely. It’s not right, but it’s easier… when I read the truth-filled words that speak of gentleness, none of these things come to mind. And I don’t think gentleness is easy. Not by a long shot.
Gentleness would require me to live in such a way that my heart is vulnerable, my voice is at a whisper (my opinion may not always be heard), my walls are rubble. And that, my friends, requires great Strength. 

Let’s look to Jesus –described as the Lamb of God. How gentle and peaceful and welcoming is a lamb? A lamb – with its soft coat and kind eyes… I don’t know about you, but when I’m within arm’s reach of a lamb, I have such a desire to reach out a touch it… it’s inviting. So Jesus, described as a gentle lamb takes on the sin of the world to save ME. Taking on the sin of the world? STRENGTH. Immeasurable amounts of it. So here we have this picture of a gentle lamb in His humility, in His gentleness of spirit, in His amazing sacrifice, but at the same time, wrapped in a glorious strength. 

To live in gentleness – to live like Jesus… to walk with the broken, to encourage the hurting, to accept the outcasts, to be a living breathing example of grace… day in and day out… to come to terms with the end of myself, to know that I am nothing without my Savior… to live in such a way that people see the Lord. THAT takes Strength.  And not my strength alone. I am weak, I am a sinner. My words and actions are not always kind and gentle. My decisions not ones of humility and Christ-like character. But His example is flawless. He has gone before me. With the gentleness of a lamb and the undeniable strength of a Savior he has taken me from a dirty sinner to a redeemed child of God.
photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar via photopin cc

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