Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Phil. 4:5
Dear Lord Jesus, there is no one more gentle with me than you. There is no one as welcoming of sinners, as kind to the broken, or as understanding of the struggling as you. You are gentle, yet persistent; gentle, yet firm; gentle, yet so very powerful.
You’re like the perfect surgeon—the one I want working on me. You never get nervous, flustered, agitated, or hurried. You have a steady hand because of your steady heart. Oh, how I need you to do ongoing gospel surgery on me if I’m going to be a true gentle man—someone whose gentleness is evident to all, and not just evident to the people who are so easy for me to be with.
Gentle me when I’m behind slow drivers who stay in the fast lane. Gentle me when I face both fair and unfair criticism. Gentle me when I think things that are obvious to me ought to be obvious to everybody else. Gentle me when loud, boorish people invade “my” space—as though I have some inalienable right to an uninterrupted life. Gentle me when I whine about not getting a wifi signal.
Gentle me when I’m too tired to engage, but my wife really needs me to listen. Gentle me when I need a nap, but my grandson needs to play. Gentle me when someone gets the last cookie I was already planning on enjoying with a glass of milk. Gentle me when my exercise plans are disrupted because it’s too humid to run.
Gentle me when the vacation gets cut short by crises. Gentle me when friends keep making the same mistakes and foolish choices. Gentle me when the restaurant sends me home with the wrong takeout order. Gentle me when Satan starts condemning me for things I actually did, but for which you already paid my debt.
Gentle me when I start debating theology rather than loving the people who see things differently. Gentle me when I cannot fix the very people you never gave me to fix. Gentle me around people who fear the world more than they have confidence in your kingdom.
Lord Jesus, I praise you for being so very near to us. You are most near to us in the gospel; and ,in fact, you actually live in our hearts. You’re also near in terms of coming back to finish making all things new—a Day for which we long. May your nearness generate a much quicker repentance on my part. Please make me a gentle man, by the gospel and for your glory. So very Amen I pray, in your kind and loving name.