Dear Gentle Readers,
From time to time I get ask why I use the term "Gentle Reader" as an introduction. So here is one explanation for all you newbies!
II Timothy 2:24-26
"And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead. he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will."
What we read in 2 Timothy chapter 2 verses 24-26, we are struck by Paul's gentleness. Reading all of the Pauline Epistles, we think of the strong teaching of Paul, and even tend to feel a sharpness in his teaching. But that is not the case, as seen in today's Scripture. He was a gentle teacher.
I recall conducting a funeral service several years ago for a man in his 90's. A few days before the service I met with his widow and two daughters. They shared with me the qualities which made him special in their eyes. Hard work was one. They also told of his sense of humor and his generosity.
But there was one special moment of my visit that has stood out in my mind across the years. Widow and daughters relived memories of their loved one, the widow said this; "He was a gentleman." She was sitting close enough to see that I had jotted down "gentleman." She reached over and touched me on the arm. "No, not that way, I meant that he was a gentle man."
Perhaps gentlemen can be gentle men, but all too often I fear that is not the case. There is a way in which people can have the appearance of proprieties that may be described as being a gentleman or a lady, but the inner quality of that person may be anything but gentle.
That statement that widow made to me has been churning in my mind ever since. It is so important for us as Christians to be known by our gentle manner. A spirit that is broken before the Lord so that the Christ within us oozes out to minister to those around us.
As I read Paul's words to Timothy, I am impressed by his instruction to teach with gentleness the ones who are opposed to us. Those are the very ones we are to be gentle toward and never to be resentful or short with.
This type of Christ-like living does not occur by reading books or attending self-improvement sessions. It comes about with a constant and consistent walk with the Lord. It demands a love of His Word and time spent communing with Him in prayer. The more time we spend with Him, the more we will become like Him, and that is the pure source of gentleness.
Unless the Lord comes to call us home to be with Him, there will come a day when we will leave this world. We will leave our loved ones behind to share memories with a pastor who will be conducting our service. I wonder what our family would say about us?
It is this gentle and quiet spirit which God treasures. In I Peter 3, Peter is speaking to wives about the qualities which they should pursue. In verse 4 we read theses words; "- - it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."
Being gentle does not imply weakness. Jesus was gentle, yet He possessed power. He has given us the blessed Holy Spirit who is always with us believers. In our gentleness, we allow Him to be our strength and power. That frees us to live a life full of meaning and purpose. I don't know about you, but I want to be remembered as a gentle man!
Gentle Reader, I want to see you as God sees each of us as wonderful. loving, compassionate and caring people.
IF WE WOULD SEE OURSELVES AS GOD SEES US, IN ALL THE PERFECTIONS OF THE BELOVED IN WHOM WE HAVE BEEN EN GRACED SO FULLY AND IN WHOM WE ARE LOVED SO DEEPLY, WE WOULD BE REFLECTING MORE OF WHAT WE HAVE BEEN MADE TO BE IN CHRIST.
GOD CONSIDERS US OF UNIQUE WORTH AND VALUE, SEES US "IN CHRIST", "ACCEPTED IN THE ONE ALWAYS BE-LOVED", WITH ALL THE ACCEPTABLENESS OF CHRIST HIMSELF, WITHOUT BLEMISH AND WITHOUT SPOT.