Showing Up A Gentle Giant2
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
That last phrase has always struck me as intriguing and a bit odd: “let your gentleness be evident to all.” Maybe I think it odd because it sounds so…soft? Passive? Maybe I think it’s odd because it presumes that I have gentleness in me to begin with?
Because here’s the thing—our surroundings aren’t especially gentle. How is it safe to let my gentleness be evident to everyone? And then, of course, some days I don’t feel especially gentle!
But Paul is saying that there is a gentleness that comes from walking with Jesus and being full of his Spirit. Some of us come by a certain gentleness naturally, others of us far from it. But when the Spirit is at work in us, there is a gentleness that is the fruit of no longer having to strive or grasp or prove ourselves.
Letting our gentleness be evident to all is one of the ways that we demonstrate the power of the gospel. In a world where plenty of us weren’t born with a gentle disposition, Jesus is doing that new thing in us anyway. How many people throughout history have made the dramatic transformation from cranks to gentle saints after meeting Jesus! For others of us, that’s a work in process.
In a world where it’s not always especially safe to be gentle, we let our gentleness be evident to all. And the reason why it’s safe to let that gentleness be on display? Paul tells us right away: The Lord is near. The Lord is near. The Lord is near.
Let your gentleness be evident to all, the Lord is near. He will protect you and watch over you and establish your cause and give you courage and strength to stand even when it’s difficult.
Have you ever known someone who was incredibly strong yet incredible gentle--the gentle giants of our world? You and I were made to be one of those: spiritual gentle giatns. Spiritually and emotionally strong enough to be gentle, even when we have to assert ourselves in ways that are strong and firm.
What do you think it means for you to let your gentleness (however much you have at work in you) be evident to all today? Name one or two specific situations or relationships where you’d like to arrive a spiritual gentle giant, and pray that the Lord would give you the strength to be that person.