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  • Writer's pictureDominique McKay

Your Gentleness Made Me Great

Updated: 12 hours ago

The silent strength of gentleness

“You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.” –Psalm 18:35

In today’s political discourse, to stand down means to lose. Arguments between family members, college friends, and even members of Congress fill up our social media news feeds. To be the victor, you must be the one who can speak the loudest and have the final say.

But when we look at Psalm 18, we find a very different picture of what it means to be made victorious. David is praising God after he’s been saved from Saul’s attempts to take his life. He describes God’s gentleness as the very thing that helped to make him great.

Gentleness isn’t something admired or looked on in most professions. In fact, gentleness is often seen as a deficit. To be gentle is to be stepped on and bypassed by the more aggressive and assertive among us. But the Bible itself describes God as “gentle” and firmly puts gentleness as a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5—pointing us once again to a countercultural truth that gentleness is the evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in us.

In the events following Jesus’ arrest, he is given over to the hands of a Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. In Matthew 27, Christ stands before the governor as the chief priests and elders make their accusations. But Christ says nothing in response. In Matthew 27:13, Pilate asks him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But Christ gives no answer.

In the midst of false truths, Christ does not defend himself. What kind of God is this, who can stand before mere men with no need to defend himself? He is a God of gentleness.

When an offensive accusation comes your way, how do you respond? Do you defend yourself? Do you break out your list of credentials and expertise? Do you make a sharp and personal remark about the one who accused you?

It’s in the moments of our greatest offenses where our hearts are revealed. For Christ, there was simply no need to defend himself in the moments ahead of his crucifixion. His identity was secure and his appointment was predestined. There was nothing that could be done to him to take him away from his positioning—not even death itself.

Similarly, as Christians we have been called according to God’s purposes (Romans 8:28). There is simply no offense that can take that destiny away from us. As a result, we can confidently respond with gentleness to those who seek to do us harm whether in person or online. 

In Psalm 23:5, the same David who described God as gentle writes this, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…” Surrounded by accusers, we see an image of the man after God’s own heart feasting with his God. He is so full of rest and confidence that he describes his life as an overflowing cup. 

The same remains true for every Christian who endures offense. When we lean into God’s rest and security, we can respond with gentleness to any accusation or offense that comes our way.

Dominique McKay is a Women's Ministry Associate in Washington, D.C.


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