I know a fellow, who a greatly admire for his humility, some readers would know who I am writing about but he will likely never guess. The gentleness and humility I see in him are very attractive qualities. There is an aroma of holiness about him.
It strikes me that the most saintly folks in history shared these qualities of humility and gentleness. This is affirmation of Jesus’ words “… the last shall be first.” Of course, Christ himself was humble Phil. 2 tells us that he humbled himself to birth and to death. One of my favourite verses is Isaiah 42:3 “A bruised Reed He will not break.” (I admit to adding a capital and through this admission trust I will be spared the plagues of the book.) This verse constantly reminds me of His gentleness.
Though these qualities are not mine by native DNA, I am not exempt from cultivating them. In fact it is probably more vital that I purposely cultivate them! In the most recent stages of my life I have determined to ‘work hard’ at developing these qualities. I think God smiles (perhaps snickers) at my misguided attempts to follow Jesus in this way. In my heart of hearts I want to be humble and gentle and I’m sure that pleases Him but changing my character is His job and I am only to be the very junior partner. I do want to be fully co-operative with Him but this ought to look more like submission than activity.
As I reflect on this idea of humility coming through submission, I feel a bit chagrinned. This is a “Duh!” moment. How could I have thought otherwise?
As I serve people on the streets of Saint John I have come to realize that humility and gentleness are powerful tools. They disarm people who have rarely met them before. They are powerful for pulling down strongholds.
I have a friend who was one of the most feared men on the streets. If he was high or angry people cleared from his path. Now as he follows Jesus, he has become a gentle giant. He has more power to influence people than he ever did. He has power to make friends and have relationships that he never imagined. He is discovering the irresistible power of gentleness and humility.
Such is the nature of the upside down Kingdom.
Do you have a story of the power of humility and gentleness? Please add it in the comments box. I’d love for this site to be more interactive.
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