Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear
Verse 11 still has a lot to teach us. This one verse contains seven major sermons. First, we heard that we need to keep away from the wrong things (that little voice inside telling us what that is). The Modern English version of the Bible says we must 11 … follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
We actually need to stick these words on our screens so that we can keep striving after it every moment and pursue it with everything in us.
But what does this last command that we need to pursue mean: gentleness? It’s difficult to convey its meaning in one word, but let’s see how this word is translated elsewhere in the Bible: kindness, humility, friendliness, thoughtfulness.
This word is the opposite of stepping on people and doing things for personal gain. On the contrary. This word indicates behaviour where the own self steps aside and letting other people go in front of you in the line. When you are gentle and kind, you always focus on the other person’s needs.
I read the following on the page Words of Wisdom:
Kindness is the rule – it should be present in the lives of all believers: Your inner beauty, from the heart – softness, lovingness, lasting humility, and spiritual calm.
Through the ages, gentleness has taken hold of, overcome, delighted and comforted people. Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning (Frederick F Faber).
Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see (Mark Twain). When kindness disappears from teaching, the possibility to convince people that God is love, disappears.
To be gentle is to be like Jesus. Jesus always first saw the needs of others. Even when he was tired, he first visited the sick and cared for them. He fed those that were hungry, even if it took a miracle. Often at the expense of his own needs, He felt driven to first bring the message of salvation to the lost. Jesus was the perfect example of kindness, because he was gentle, modest, friendly and thoughtful.
Truly an example to pursue.
But when I look at my own life, I don’t always see signs of gentleness.
Once again, I become aware of my own brokenness. I know I’m a work in progress still needing a lot of work. I realise it is a long process where I push two steps forward every day, and then take one or two back again every now and then. But I must keep on pushing forward. Because as I push forward, I become better at it and even when my blood boils, I succeed in being gentle.
Even if all my plans made it work, I remain modest. And even if I don’t feel like it, I try my best to smile.
Let’s all try our best …
1 Timothy 6:11-16
Where in your life is gentleness lacking?
Who needs your gentleness?
How can you share it?
Father, once again I realise that I need a lot of work. I now it’s a process, and I realise I can’t do it on my own. Amen.