Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 23, 2020
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:5
Daily life brings with it a steady stream of joy and sorrow, victory and defeat, clarity and confusion. Likely you have over the past few months experienced all of these emotions and many more! Yet I’m curious, would you add “gentleness” to the list? Do you consider yourself to be a gentle person? Is this even something you aspire to and see as a desirable trait? According to Paul, it should be right up at the top of our list!
A gentle spirit is rooted in a lived encounter of the Holy Spirit. Your ability to be gentle is directly tied to the nearness of the Lord and his calming presence in the face of any storm. Often my failure to be gentle is based in my inability to truly trust in the strength and nearness of our Lord. If God is who he says he is, and is nearer to us than we can ever imagine, we are free from worry and anxiety. As Paul famously says in the very next verse, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Gentleness, rather than being a sign of weakness or insecurity, is a living witness of the transforming power of God at work in our lives, and to this end, it isn’t simply for our own good, but is an invitation to the world to see something of the very nature of God. In a world in which the “survival of the fittest” seems to guide national policy and economic realities, we as Christians are invited to instead reveal to the world the true nature of its creator. In his book “The Allure of Gentleness,” Dallas Willard powerfully drives this point home:
“The means of our communication needs to be gentle, because gentleness also characterizes the subject of our communication. What we are seeking to defend or explain is Jesus himself, who is a gentle, loving shepherd. If we are not gentle in how we present the good news, how will people encounter the gentle and loving Messiah we want to point to?”
The aroma of gentleness is pleasing to the senses and draws people in out of the rain and cold, softening their hearts as they rest and recover at the warm hearth of our Savior’s love. And so, let your gentleness be evident and inviting to all!
Father, since you are near, we have nothing to fear and are able to navigate the struggles of life with grateful and generous hearts, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Choose today in the power of God’s grace to be gentle in your words and actions towards others, revealing to them the gentleness of our Lord Jesus.
Here is a helpful resource during these days of grief, sorrow and uncertainty: A Little Book of Comfort
If God is who he says he is, and is nearer to us than we can ever imagine, we are free from worry and anxiety. #WisdomHunters #gentle #truth #Jesus
6 minute video – Crowder, Johnny Swim, Tori Kelly:
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