We have all seen those punching machines at the arcade haven’t we? The more destructive the punch, the higher the score. This is one simple example where we are taught that gentleness will not help. Another situation that comes to mind, around being too gentle was when Terry’s chocolate orange launched the slogan ‘Don’t tap it, whack it’’. It was a drive to show their customers how to handle their product. But this slogan and the previous example assume that being gentle won’t solve a problem, don’t they?
We see the way Jesus handles us very differently when we come to him. We all know sin and Jesus do not go together. The beautiful unity that we could have with him is destroyed in our sinful words and actions. But at the point when we would expect
Jesus to ‘Whack it’ with us and our sin, we are greeted by a gentle Saviour. This is where we see the true strength of gentleness displayed. We learn this expectation of bad actions mean a bad reception right from childhood don’t we? If you break something you are sent to the naughty step or if found breaking policies at work you are met with a disciplinary. The bible encourages us that when we do muck up we will not be met by an angry parent or frustrated boss, but a gentle Saviour who will deal with the situation. As we come to Jesus to repent or say sorry for our sins, Jesus forgives us and is
gentle with us.
This is drawn out in Matthew’s gospel; Matthew 11 verses 28-30 speaks of how Jesus calls sinners to him and how he will be gentle with them. Verse 29 says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”.
I find this so encouraging as I know when I have had a good day, Jesus will be gentle with me. If I have had a really tough day when I feel tired and worn down with the stresses of life, Jesus will be gentle with me. And even the times when I go to him with my sin to repent, I know I can go to him and he will be gentle with me. This is where Jesus shows the true strength of gentleness. The time when we expect Jesus wouldn’t be gentle he embraces us. The amazing thing about gentleness is that it does not stop there either. The verse goes on to how Jesus wants us to come to him and learn from him. Galatians 5v23 shows that the Christian can show this gentleness to others by the power of the holy spirit in their lives.
One part of my job at Kick is to mentor children with different struggles, and the times I have seen the biggest change in them is when I have been gentle to their situation. Whether they have made bad choices or are in tough situations, I have the chance to show them gentleness as Jesus does for me. It’s so easy in situations to lose our cool and react but when we want to see true gentleness displayed, we can come to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus and learn from him and practice gentleness by the power of the holy spirit.
James Peet – KICK Coach