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Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Phil. 4:5

     Dear Lord Jesus, the first thing this Scripture makes me think about is you, for no one is more gentle than you; no one is as welcoming of sinners, kind to the broken, or as understanding of the struggling as you.

     You’re like the perfect surgeon—the one I want working on me. You never get nervous or flustered, agitated or hurried. You have a steady hand because of your grace-full heart; and I gladly surrender to both today, for I want to grow in gentleness.

    Gentle me when I face both fair and unfair criticism. Gentle me when I’m behind slow drivers “owning” the fast lane, or get charged too much for a job poorly done. Gentle me when I’m too tired to engage but my spouse needs me to listen. Gentle me when I lose a big fish, break a favorite thing, or miss a great opportunity. Gentle me when someone gets the last piece of chocolate cake I planned to enjoy with a glass of milk. Gentle me when my body hurts and my heart aches.

     Gentle me when the vacation gets cut short by crises, friends make the same destructive choices, or the restaurant gives me the wrong takeout order. Gentle me, (and my words) when I face meanness and contempt from others.

     Gentle me when I start debating theology rather than loving people. Gentle me when my attempts to “fix” people fail—though you haven’t called me to fix anyone. Gentle me when the car, plumbing, or heating/cooling system (recently fixed) needs fixing again.

     Lord Jesus, you’re so near to us in the gospel, and near in terms of your return. May your nearness generate a much quicker repentance on my part, when my first reaction might be agitation or frustration, whining or worry. Make me a gentle man, by the gospel and for your glory. So very Amen I pray, in your kind and loving name.

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