April 23, 2018

The Beatitudes: The Blessing of Gentleness

Key Verse: “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5

The third Beatitude, gentleness, is not the absence of anger but the discipline and discernment to be angry over the right things, at the right time, and with the right tone. Those who are gentle rest in the truth that vengeance and victory belong to God. Their pursuit, therefore, is the righteousness of Christ – not retaliation for being wronged.

The life Jesus describes in the Beatitudes is not one we can live in and of ourselves. These traits are only possible in the super-natural life of Christ through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Remember, each Beatitude builds on the next. The first two bring us to the realization that we have nothing to offer to God within ourselves; we’re empty. Then comes the recognition that our sin grieves the Lord, which causes us to mourn over our sin but also invites the comfort of the Holy Spirit through the forgiveness and grace of Jesus Christ. Seeing ourselves as God sees us paves the way to respond to the faults of others with gentleness.

As a result of developing the trait of gentleness, we are freed from attitudes of self-importance and from the expectation to be recognized for personal accomplishments. This way of thinking allows us to avoid the pitfalls of self-pity and the petty things of life. Gentleness offers kindness and respect without expecting anything in return. One might think that such people will be pushovers on this earth, when in fact, the gentle will inherit it.