God’s Gentle Grace
Paul, in his letters, continually reminded followers that we are heirs of God’s grace, and because of that inheritance, we are to, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,” (Colossians 3:12) and “to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” (Titus 3:2)
James, the younger brother of Jesus knew about gentleness, but only after his older brother died for his sins. The Bible tells us that Jesus came to visit him upon his return (1 Corinthians 15:7). What a conversation that must have been; forgiving and loving enough to place James in the room with the disciples when the Holy Spirit came upon them all. And James learned an incredible lesson which served as the foundation for the remainder of his life.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. (James 3:17)
by Anne-Marie Hurley
Help us to speak from a spirit of kindness
When woe’s words seek to hurt to the core,
Help us to see that those who are hurting
Try their best to hurt more.
Help us to know that empathy helps
When others are struggling to find
Hope in their lives, some sense of certainty
Some salve for a more peaceful mind.
Give us a reason to see past the bitter,
A more loving heart to reveal
A measure of more understanding
Till others around us may heal.
Help us, please, Spirit so loving,
So generous with all you bestow,
Help us to love more fully our Lord
And others around us to know
That all we desire is found in one God
Made manifest in His plan,
To love with all gentleness brothers, sisters around.
Simply to love God and Man.
James warned us to refrain from speaking against our brothers and sisters, from discouraging or shaming anyone. He asked us to tame the tongue. “It is a restless evil full of deadly poison. With it, we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:8-10)
Being gentle, or meek, is not being weak. It is having a controlled strength, a willingness to put others first, an outward humility toward others.
I believe with all my heart this is what Jesus was telling us when he summed up all the law and words of the prophets in the two commands, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
I believe this is what Jesus meant when he said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)
To speak with kindness and compassion.
To give hope and encouragement.
To love with all gentleness.
To be filled with God’s gentle wisdom and mercy.
To pass on the gentle and humble heart of Jesus.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3
Gentleness copyright 2014 Anne-Marie Hurley, who blogs at Scottishmomus (http://scottishmomus.wordpress.com. She is mother to 7, wife of 26 years, sister, aunt, godparent, daughter, friend, teacher and a poet who sets words to the music of your heart.
Her prose is on anything that she sets her mind to: parenting, politics or humor, and her musings are above the cut. She’s rarely bereft of an opinion, and will often lead you down the garden path with a glass of wry and Scottish.