Optimising connectivity for everyday life

C4L Boosters are here to help you in the spiritual lift-off stage and to bring vital boosters to keep you in the best orbit on your journey.  Unafraid to tackle any topic, C4L Boosters  are designed for you to connect securely with The Infinite, for this is your call to pursue.

Optimising connectivity
for everyday life

C4L Boosters are here to help you in the spiritual lift-off stage and to bring vital boosters to keep you in the best orbit on your journey.  Unafraid to tackle any topic, C4L Boosters  are designed for you to connect securely with The Infinite, for this is your call to pursue.

gentle AND humble

Should these two words be so closely associated with each other let alone with donkeys? Which one of these pair looks well-named ‘Gentle’ and which one ‘Humble’?!  Surely ‘Jeremiah’ and ‘Hezekiah’ would be more fitting names!  Does society nowadays recognise and respect humility as an attribute – what is humility anyway?  The same question could be asked of ‘gentleness’.  Can you be gentle without being humble and vice versa?  Why are these two things important in a Christian and is it possible to be both?  So many questions need an answer to make sense of it all and these come in the person of Christ:

‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey’ – Matthew 21:5

Here we see Jesus fulfilling Zechariah’s prophecy of the Messiah-King come riding gently in humility on a borrowed donkey with foal to bring peace, freedom and salvation (Zechariah 9:9-11).   What a contrast is this lowly transport for Jesus The Redeemer’s first coming to bring Good News compared with the second yet to come arrival of Jesus The Faithful and True as mighty King of Kings on a white charger leading the armies of Heaven (Revelation 19:11-16).

This rider of a donkey made himself vulnerable to help the powerless, condemned and weak.  Listen to the invitation he calls:

‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’ – Matthew 11:28-29

Perhaps it is strange that there can be such power in gentleness.  It is a thing of beauty to see the gentle giant, the child feeling completely safe to jump into the arms of the waiting Dad or the exhausted carer gently looking after those with dementia.

  • ‘A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles’ – William Hazlitt
  •  ‘Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength’ – Saint Francis de Sales
  • ‘Only the weak are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong’ – Leo Buscaglia
  • ‘Try to exercise gentleness, kindness and humour, and you cannot go far wrong’ – Sophie Winkleman
  • ‘Jesus never mistreated anyone just because they mistreated Him. He confronted them in a spirit of gentleness and then continued to love them’ – Joyce Meyer
  • ‘Gentleness corrects whatever is offensive in our manner’ – Hugh Blair

Whilst gentleness seems easier to identify than humility, the inner core of a person is known only to God and to that person.   Many masks are worn which can be deceptive to others and perhaps even to ourselves.  If ‘gentleness’ is the offer of kindness in words and actions, then ‘humility’ is the willingness to esteem others without throwing your weight around in line with your status.  True humility starts with how the ‘inner you’ thinks in relation to those around you but if genuine it can be seen in words, action, thankfulness, serving and sacrifice.

  • ‘A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being’ – James E Faust
  • Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding’ – Alice Walker
  • ‘Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance’ – Saint Augustine
  • ‘A Christian reveals true humility by showing the gentleness of Christ, by being always ready to help others, by speaking kind words and performing unselfish acts, which elevate and ennoble the most sacred message that has come to our world’ – Ellen G White
  • ‘True humility is intelligent self-respect which keeps us from thinking too highly or too meanly of ourselves. It makes us modest by reminding us how far we have come short of what we can be’ – Ralph W Sockman
  •  ‘Have the humility to learn from those around you’ – John C Maxwell
  • ‘Life is a long lesson in humility’ – James M Barrie

The vulnerability of gentleness and humility is open to be abused by others which may be why we find these twin virtues so difficult and the world can see it as weakness to be exploited.  Yet remember the call of the one riding the donkey and his words in the Living Word:

‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mind-set as Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross’ – Philippians 2:3-8

‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love’ – Ephesians 4:2

The hymn written by Graham Kendrick sets these themes to music with the opening line, ‘Meekness and majesty, Manhood and Deity’.  The mystery is that the one who exemplifies gentleness and humility call us to follow his example and promises to help us in every respect, even to be ‘gentle AND humble’:

‘May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it’ – 2 Thessalonians 5:23-24

https://connect4life.org.uk/c4l-boosters/201-beautiful-grace

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