We must have looked funny to the children and women watching us. Here we were, six men—each of us incapable of separating two plastic buckets. We tried twisting and pulling to no avail. One man used his pocket knife. I tried dropping the buckets on the floor. We could bend the plastic but we could not get one orange pail free from the other. It was like someone had super glued each set of buckets together. It felt like our manhood was on the line—this was getting embarrassing!
I happened to be holding two of the buckets and just used my thumbs to push when one of the boys watching us noticed movement. Sure enough, the buckets came apart. We discovered that by gentle coaxing the buckets were easily separated. Hmmm. That mental bulb powered by keen insights seemed to glow in our minds at the same time. We had all just witnessed a profound spiritual truth.
Ephesians 4:1,2--Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, acceptingone another in love.
So often we resort to force to accomplish our will. Isn't it interesting that Jesus, the possessor of infinite power only once picked up a whip? The prophet Zechariah wrote, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). God picked a donkey over a chariot! Jesus never slammed truth into the brains of His hearers. Neither does the Holy Spirit yell at us. His gentle whisper is quite capable of convicting our mischievous hearts. The Apostle Paul wrote, "Now I, Paul, make a personal appeal to you by the gentleness and graciousness of Christ . . .”(2 Corinthians 10:1). Paul encouraged believers to be completely humble and gentle because of what he had learned from his Lord.
Harsh words and overbearing authority beget resentment and foment bitterness. Gentleness engenders trust. So be gentle. Let people know your confidence (strength) is in the Lord. It's amazing what you can accomplish with the right application!
In our rough-and-rugged individualism, we think of gentleness as weakness, being soft, and virtually spineless. Not so! . . . Gentleness includes such enviable qualities as having strength under control, being calm and peaceful when surrounded by a heated atmosphere, emitting a soothing effect on those who may be angry or otherwise beside themselves, and possessing tact and gracious courtesy that causes others to retain their self-esteem and dignity . . . Instead of losing, the gentle gain. Instead of being ripped off and taken advantage of, they come out ahead!—Charles R. Swindoll
Power can do by gentleness what violence fails to accomplish.—Latin Proverb
©2003 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)