While we live in a worldly culture that encourages self-absorption and prideful arrogance, we must be oh-so-careful not to give up the gentleness and meekness that God desires in us. The world views gentleness as a sign of weakness. But in reality, gentleness is like a two-sided coin.
One side conveys the idea of meekness, humility, or lowliness. It possesses patience, a wait-and-see attitude as it quietly and calmly looks at the facts of each situation in a cool-headed manner. Yet when we turn the coin over, we discover that gentleness requires the firmness of self-mastery, of strength under control. It demands steel-like self-discipline. Gentleness requires a reliance on God’s ways above all others. It is the powerful opposite of self-reliant arrogance or brazen assertiveness.
Jesus spent three years gently and humbly ministering to the people in and around Palestine. In time the day finally arrived when He began moving toward Jerusalem and His death. As the King of kings and Lord of lords rode into Jerusalem, Matthew wrote, “Behold your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey” (Matthew 21:5). Christ appeared in Jerusalem, the city of Zion, not in His glory, but in meekness. Not to conquer, but to bring about salvation for sinners.
Gentleness and outward poverty were the identifying qualities of Christ and characterized His ministry. Jesus could have asserted Himself at any point. He could have demanded respect, allegiance, and royal treatment. Yet Jesus chose to make His entrance into Jerusalem in meekness.
As you take a further look at what the Bible says about gentleness, I think you’ll agree that when you exhibit gentleness, or humility, you reflect Jesus.
Gentleness is a key to abundant living — “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).
Gentleness can bring peace instead of strife — “A soft [gentle] answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs. 15:1).
Gentleness seeks restoration — “If anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness” (Galatians 6:1).
Gentleness is a reflection of love — “With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, [bear] with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).
Gentleness is confident yet respectful — “Be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).
Gentleness in a woman is precious to God — “your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit…is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:3-4).
No matter how those around you in society regard gentleness, it is an exquisite, powerful, and lofty Christ-like attitude. To reflect this precious-in-the-sight-of-God quality, first desire it with all your heart. Then allow every opportunity of mistreatment or misunderstanding to reflect Christ’s tranquility. Fall on your face before God and wait for His action on your behalf. In prayer, seek His wisdom for your every move. Trust in the Lord to protect you and guide you, to empower you with His grace to respond to trials with Jesus’ gentleness.
A Prayer to Pray: God, you are the source of love. When I am too tired, too agitated, or too self-focused to temper my response, allow Your Word and gentleness toward me guide me back to the priority of love.