Over the last month’s blog posts, we have looked at the Virtues of Love listed in 1 Corinthians 13. We have referenced Henry Drummond’s essay, The Greatest Thing in the World. We started with Patience…Love passive and moved on to its twin, Kindness…Love active. We unpacked Generosity…the virtue that is written on God’s heart and then we studied the shy virtue: Humility.
Today, we inspect Gentleness/Courtesy…Love in little things. Drummond calls it that because the choices between Rude/Gentleness almost always occur throughout the day and not in the arena of mementoes decisions. Big decisions are made with care, caution and much discussion. Choosing to be rude to the checkout person at the grocery store or the person with 25 items in the 15-item Express Lane happen in an instant. The choice is driven by instinct and character, usually without aforethought.
Consider Jesus’ state of mind and the moments He was gentle. He restored the woman caught in adultery. He didn’t condemn or accept her behavior, but gently restored her. His gentle response to the woman who touched the hem of his robe, while He was hurrying to heal Jairus’ daughter speaks volumes about His gentle nature. Contemplate the gentleness of Jesus as He protected the woman who anointed His feet with oil, as Judas criticized the cost of the gift.
The opposite traits of a gentle/courteous spirit are familiar to us. Politicians and leaders who are rude, contemptuous, condemning and interrupting persons are all too common in today’s discourse.
When we walk with Jesus, when we accept His grace and respond to His loving sacrifice, we respond naturally and instinctively with Courtesy and Gentleness. Let’s clothe ourselves in that virtue this month.