Choose Gentleness

10 Jul

“I choose gentleness. Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.”  ~ Max Lucado

Lucado gives us some wonderful images upon which to reflect.  Force, raised voices, clenched fists, and demands all seem to be a part of our lives.  Sometimes, even of our daily lives.  We live with them as if they were a normal part of our human condition.  They are aberrations, though.  Our human condition was tainted by original sin.  What we are called to be is peaceful, loving, kind, and gentle.

If we are a peaceful, loving, kind, and gentle person in today’s world, we are considered a loser or a coward or a failure.  The world does not value peacefulness and its many attributes.  The world, instead, values force as it believes that a person should take whatever he or she wants without consideration for another person.

Lucado — as, indeed, we all should — chooses not the way of the world but the way of the Lord which is gentleness.  We are not to take by force.  We are not to be rude or rough but, instead, gentle.  We should not raise our voice unless it is to give praise to God or to seek the good for another person.  We should not show outward signs of aggression and the only person to whom we should make a demand is our self.

When we meet someone who is meek and gentle, we often think of that person as saintly.  We say to ourselves, “I could never be like that person”, and we look at them in awe.  We wonder how they can keep their cool in adverse conditions.  We wonder how they can be so kind and helpful.  We wonder how they find the wherewithal to forgive so quickly and freely.  Friends, the answer to those questions is short and to the point:  they find it in the Lord.

If we do everything that we can to embrace and emulate the values of Christ and to strive in word and deed to be “another Christ” in this world of ours, we will be models of gentleness as well.  That is what God truly desires of us.  Let’s try to do just that this day.

FAITH ACTION:  Choose gentleness today in all your dealings with others as well as with yourself.