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Rev. Bob Blake from The Contact - May 2022
May 3, 2022, 12:26 PM

A godly woman learned that a dear friend living overseas was getting married the very next day. Wanting something to get to her friend on time, she sent a congratulations telegram and tacked on the scripture address 1 John 4:18 which reads, “...perfect love casts out fear...” However, the telegraph operator dropped off the 1 in front of John. When the dear friend received her telegraph and read “congratulations,” then looked up John 4:18, and found “for you have had five husbands and the one you have now is not your “husband”. We live in an

imperfect world where people make mistakes. God gives us the Christ-like quality of gentleness to deal with people who make mistakes.

Think about how you treated and handled your first child when you brought him or her home from the hospital. Did you go overboard with the safest car seat and pillows all around to be sure he or she would be as safe as possible? Did you drive very carefully? When you got home, how careful were you picking your baby up and putting your baby down? That exaggerated care is how Paul said he cared for the Thessalonians (1 Thess 5:7). Jonathan Edwards said, “[Gentleness] may well be called the Christian spirit... All who are truly godly and are real Disciples of Christ have a gentle spirit in them.” As we are striving to give a message by the right method, we also should diligently strive to use a manner of gentleness. Are we quick to be critical in the world? That is not gentleness. Henry Drummond wrote, “The peculiarity of ill temper is that it is the vice of the virtuous. It is often the one blot on an otherwise noble character. You know men who are all but perfect and women who would be entirely perfect but for an easily ruffled, quick-tempered, or touchy disposition. This compatibility of ill temper with high moral character is one of the strangest and saddest problems of ethics.” We don’t take gentleness seriously. To be like Christ, we must adopt and practice the virtue of gentleness.

Zechariah and Matthew both wrote about Jesus, our King, coming to us, gentle and riding on a donkey. Jesus described himself as one who is gentle and humble in heart (Matt 11:29). Paul referred to the meekness and gentleness of Jesus (2 Cor 11:21). Those in the world, who reject God, probably do so because they don’t see his followers embracing gentleness. If the followers of Jesus would embrace gentleness, there would probably be more Christians in the world today. We need to realize that our efforts at gentleness greatly affect our witness for Jesus.

So, how do we display gentleness? Three spiritual truths are: nobody is perfect, everybody is being tempted to fail, and life is tough. Realizing these truths helps us have a more empathetic view when we face the imperfections of others as we seek to live in the gentleness of Christ. L.R. Knost wrote, in The Gentle Parent, “Gentleness is not weakness. Just the opposite. Preserving a gentle spirit in a heartless world takes extraordinary courage, determination, and resilience. Do not underestimate the power of gentleness, because gentleness is strength wrapped in peace, and therein lies the power to change the world.” Finally Prov 16:24 tells us, “are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” My challenge to you: be gentle, practice gracious words.

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