Christ’s Closet: Gentleness

Read: 1 Peter 3:8-17

First of all Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope your time with family and friends this week is a blessing and an opportunity to celebrate the goodness of our God. We are continuing to look into God’s closet this week with the garment of gentleness. These Christ-like characteristics are a continuation of Paul’s encouragement from Colossians 3:12-17 on how to clothe ourselves.

Charles Spurgeon, a well known British preacher from the 1800’s once said, “John Knox did much, but he might perhaps have done more if he had had a little love. Luther was a conqueror… but we who look upon him at a distance, think that if he had sometimes mixed a little mildness with it he might have done more good than he did.”

In 1 Peter 3:15 Peter give us a great nugget of wisdom, he says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

This is good wisdom as we prepare to gather with family and friends on this Thanksgiving week. So often our conversations turn to world events, religion, politics, and other things and our emotions tend to get a little on edge. It’s great to have discussions about those things and share ideas and perceptions but we must do that with gentleness and respect. Not lording our opinion in a way that cannot hear anyone else.

I was at a conference recently and one woman shared a very helpful sentence with our group that the Lord had given her that week. It was, “Always listen for what God may be saying through the other person before you start to think about your rebuttal.” This seems to be a way for us to practice the gentleness that Christ showed.

We need to speak truth and dispute falsehoods, but we need to do it in a way that shows we hear the other person, we respect the other person, but we are interested in a discussion about the subject and not a shouting match. Jesus was so gifted in this that by reading the gospels we can learn more about how he practiced gentleness in the midst of proclaiming truth.

I hope we will try to put this characteristic of Christ on in this week ahead. Be gentle in all that you say and do. In the end you will appreciate the peace, the friendship, and the lower blood pressure that comes from a gentle spirit.

Make it personal: Try putting that quote into practice. Try to listen closely to the person you are talking with and try to hear God’s voice in what they have to say before you think about what you have to say next.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church