by Rick Warren — May 9, 2023
From The Keys to a Blessed Life
“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.”
Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV)
Gentleness is important for so many reasons. It defuses conflict. It disarms critics. It’s persuasive. It’s attractive. It communicates love.
Most importantly, gentleness makes you more like Jesus. In Matthew 11:28-29, Jesus says, “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” (NIV).
Do you feel weary and burdened today? Do you want to find rest and be at peace instead? Rest and peace come from being like Jesus—from being gentle.
You can’t just walk out your door and force yourself to be gentle. Gentleness needs to be an “inside job.” It should be the fruit of God’s Spirit in you. Jesus is gentle, and when you walk alongside him, you’ll learn to be gentle too.
For more than 30 years now, I’ve prayed the same prayer almost every day: “Lord, help me to treat people the way Jesus would.” Why? Because I am not by nature a gentle person. So I have to let God produce gentleness in my life.
Here are three simple ways for you to practice gentleness with God’s help this week:
1. When somebody serves you, be understanding, not demanding.
Then next time you’re in a long line at a government office or coffee shop, be considerate—be understanding—of the person who eventually helps you.
2. When somebody disagrees with you, be tender without surrender.
You’ll never get your point across by being cross. You don’t have to back down from God’s truth, but you can treat people with gentleness and respect.
3. When somebody disappoints you, be gentle, not judgmental.
Ephesians 4:32 says it like this: “Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you” (MSG).
As you walk alongside Jesus and put these things into practice every day, you’ll find yourself becoming gentler and more like Jesus.