A 40 Day Journey to Becoming Like the One We Follow
Day 10: Gentleness (Matthew 19:14)
We have three big dogs. They aren’t Great Dane size or anything, but they’re all “large breeds.” The biggest of our dogs is an 80+ pound black Lab mix. He’s all black (with more white now that he’s older), and he has a bark that could stop a grown man dead in his tracks. But he’s just a big teddy bear. He loves to cuddle and give his doggy hugs by leaning his full weight into you. Could he rip your throat out? Definitely. But will he? No.
I love how gentle big dogs can be. Small yappy dogs are the ones you have to look out for. They have something to prove. Our big dogs, though, are just gentle giants.
One thing I love about Jesus is he never had to prove himself to anyone. He never had that tough-guy persona. You know the guys who always act as if they’re overcompensating for something? That wasn’t Jesus.
Dude could drive out demons, control the weather, walk on water, go 40 days without food, and cure diseases from across long distances. Plus he grew up as a construction worker. People were terrified of his power.
But then he bent down to bless the children. Kids wanted to be with him. Women trusted him and opened up emotionally to him. Men from all walks of life – soldiers, assassins, accountants, fishermen – all wanted to hang out with him and felt validated by him.
No matter who it was, Jesus was gentle. He never forced his will on anyone. He never threw his weight around (except for maybe in the Temple that one time). He was never manipulative or abusive. He was a gentle giant, the supreme example of power under control.
One of the gospel writers, reflecting on how Jesus treated others in his ministry, quoted Isaiah: “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.”
Do you find yourself being harsh? manipulative? critical? overcompensating for your own insecurities? lashing out? short tempered? Let’s learn gentleness from the one with all the real power.