Jesus said, “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”1
The mother is away for a dinner with her sister on a much needed and overdue rest. The father is alone at home taking care of the newborn baby and the toddler brother. The baby is crying at the top of her lungs and the brother is grouchy and whiny. Eventually, the father loses his patience and yells at the baby and the toddler.
Predictably, the baby doesn’t let up and the toddler starts to wail. This goes on for dreadful minutes until the father stops and sits down for a minute. He takes a few deep breaths, relaxes his tense shoulders, starts to calmly soothe the baby, and persuades the toddler to settle down. In a few minutes, both baby and toddler are smiling and cooperating.
So it is in our lives.
We cannot run around with a clenched fist, yell at the challenges that come our way, and expect them to clear away from our life’s path. We need to take them on with a gentle or meek attitude. Love does not radiate out of angry, arrogant, and brash attitudes. (And even if we believe in tough love, we ought to do it in gentleness.) Counselors do not practice counseling by yelling—it would be ineffective.
Gentleness is an outward expression of faith in God’s power and respect for others. When we truly believe that God works in everything for good2, we do not need to worry and get irritated when dealing with others. Yelling at people does not help in a positive way and can actually hurt others, whereas being gentle goes a long way. In either case, when we believe God is in control, what is the point of being anything but gentle toward others?
Genuine gentleness also implies respect for others, because Jesus loves them and died for them as much as he did for us. We cannot be gentle toward someone we disrespect, because disrespect breeds contempt which blocks gentleness from being genuine.
In a family, the rightful heir inherits the family estate. The heir may not have the full legal ownership of the family wealth yet, but everybody knows that the heir speaks on behalf of the family and they recognise the authority of the heir as if of the parents. In other words, the heir has been granted power.
Jesus himself was gentle and he calls us to be gentle like him, so we shall inherit the earth. Our gentleness/meekness is a powerful testimony of Jesus which will open up doors for us here on earth to be used by him powerfully.
We have seen the sign, “Fragile—Handle With Care.” People’s hearts are fragile. Let us treat others with care.
- Matthew 5:5
- “All things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28