“THE MEEKNESS AND GENTLENESS OF CHRIST” S
Our world is full of distractions; these seem to increase every year! This is especially so for the young; at every twist and turn of daily life they encounter “voices” “words” and messages clamouring for their attention. These “voices” might come via iPods, mobile phones or whenever they turn on their Laptop.
The words of Paul to the Corinthians we read today can be applied to the present situation. The church in Corinth had been established for some years and the believers were being distracted by some who were full of their own self-importance and were creating problems. We read, “I Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ” [10 v.1]. This was the Christ-like attitude Paul had toward the genuine heart-motivated believers there, but it was a challenge to have it toward those who envied his popularity and sought to undermine his work for the Lord; we remember how our Lord responded to those who were envious of his popularity. Paul was putting into practice what Christ had said, “Come to me all you who labour and are heavy laden … Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart…” [Matt. 11 v.28,29]
We see how Paul expresses his distress at the attitude of many in Corinth who were not doing this. It is the same today: God’s words get wilfully distorted. Paul writes, “I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough” [11 v.3,4]
Tragically the ‘Christian’ world has seen so many different gospels over the centuries, it is only the regular and prayerful reading of God’s word, so wonderfully preserved, that provides the foundation for us to truly walk in Christ’s footsteps – and, at the same time, to be motivated to develop the spirit of “meekness and gentleness.” This should apply equally as much when we seek to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God”[10 v.5] May we find that, on at least some occasions, “the soft answer” [Prov. 15 v.1] can penetrate the hard hearts we encounter.
Finally, note how this chapter ends; “it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” May the Lord commend you on that day for being faithful to his word, and in turning from this world’s distractions to daily read and meditate on his word knowing they provide an essential foundation for all you think and do..