October 07, 2010

Clothe Yourselves With Gentleness

Isaiah 42:1-9

As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with … gentleness …
Colossians 3:12


“Come to me …” Jesus says. “I am gentle” (Matthew 11:28-29). I wouldn’t dare go to Jesus if he weren’t gentle, would you?

He is the Lord, the one with judgment and salvation in his hand. He knows my thoughts and everything I’ve done. He knows my few strengths and my many weaknesses. Because my life and destiny are in his hands, I pray that he be gentle.

God tells Isaiah that his servant, the coming Messiah, will not break “a bruised reed.” A bruised reed is one that is bent, cracked and therefore no good for weaving into a basket or making into paper. It’s useless, so why not just break it and throw it away? But in Jesus’ gentle hands, none of us who are bent over by life’s difficulties or broken by bad decisions is ever thrown away.

“A smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” What do you do with a wick that is barely burning, not giving much light anymore, and filling the room with smoke? Why not blow it out and use a better candle? No matter how feeble we are, no matter how useless we might feel, Jesus never does that to us.

Many of us can testify that Jesus has been very gentle with us. In turn, we can and should be gentle with one another, especially with the bruised reeds and smoldering wicks around us. Can you do that today?

Strong and powerful Lord, thank you for being gentle with me. May my attitudes, words, and actions today be shaped by your gentleness. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Stob

Rev. Harvey Stob and his wife, Audrey, served as missionaries in Argentina for eleven years. They then served churches in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ridgewood, New Jersey; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Harvey retired from full-time pastoral work in 2009. He and Audrey have three children and seven grandchildren.

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