I am very thankful to have grown up in a family and a church that practiced these virtues regularly. However, as time has gone on, my appreciation and value of these virtues have grown and I want to encourage you to find the life they hide to those who seek them.
Titus 3:1-2 “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”
Ephesians 4:1-2 “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,”
Today I was in a driving situation where the cars were slowing down in front of me for no apparent reason. I began to feel that sense of impatience, urgency, and frustration in my gut. A few moments later however, I found the reason. There had been a wreck and the people were driving slow to help the other lane maneuver around. I felt a sense of shame for how quick I had been to anger and how justified I had felt that the world was doing me an injustice.
James 1:19-20 “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
Most of the time, like the situation I faced today, we have not understood a situation correctly. In this life, we don’t have perfect communication like we will in heaven. We often misread situations, people, intentions, motives, etc… I find that if I delay my anger and take time to properly understand the situation, I respond more appropriately to what’s really happening. That’s why it’s good to be slow to anger. Because our anger is not just usually, it is selfish and it doesn’t promote the righteousness God desires. And when we are dealing with fights, why do we use harsh words to correct innocent mistakes? Those arguments grow and grow until both parties are making fools of themselves and not displaying God’s love for each other. If we want to win people over, let us be gentle, because a gentle man shows wisdom, maturity, and understanding.
Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Take time to try to see an debate from the other’s perspective. If you want them to consider your case, you need to respect their case as well.
Proverbs 25:15 “Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.”
Sometimes people will say things that I could take offense at or correct. Someone will not be very polite, say an insult, or say something disrespectful to my reputation. Sometimes, I don’t even bother to correct them, even when it’s obvious they are wrong, because that speaks more about your character than trying to defend against every negative thing said against you. The truth is, everyone has negative qualities about them that we choose to overlook in grace. This means, that even if someone is correctly insulting you, it does not mean it is right. If God shows us grace, we are obligated to show grace to others. I simply see it as it is, ignorance and I let it slide by.
Proverbs 12:16 “Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.”
2 Timothy 2:4 “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.”
Instead of getting involved in useless quarrels, let’s live our lives to please God and show grace and patience to one another. God gives us abounding grace, he chooses to overlook our offenses, separate our sins from us as far as the east is from the west and instead showers us with love and favor. As God’s people who are called reveal God’s ways to this earth, let’s live lives worthy of the grace God shows us. Let us be slow to anger, peaceable, gentle at all times, and patient.