Why do we assume difference requires conflict—usually in the form of loud, fearful, defensive responses?
Goodness this is such a timely word for me personally, and as I read this I'm struck by how central *patience* is to the practice of gentleness. For me, usually when I fail at gentleness it's because I am impatient (or sometimes because I am afraid). I found this Eugene Peterson quote that you used so helpful: "Jesus is best known for his fondness for the insignificant, the invisible, the quiet, the *slow* – yeast, salt, seeds, light." Slow, insignificant things are effective. That is a hopeful correction for me. I also find James 3 to be helpful as I think about gentleness: "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere" what an extraordinary thing to be called to, and what a lovely reminder this article is for pursuing such a calling. Thanks, Bishop Todd.
You have always modeled this for me, Todd. Thanks for this well-written reminder
Love this article, Todd!
I remember a mentor of mine pointing out how often Paul stressed gentleness (apart from telling Judaizers to castrate themselves!). He encouraged me to see how essential gentleness was to mission. I remain grateful for his gentle nudge.