This week we welcome guest blogger, Daymarr Jackson. In addition to being Faith Church’s youth leader, Daymarr is a Chaplain candidate in the PA Army National Guard, and a MDiv student at Evangelical Seminary. Daymarr and his wife, Danielys, have two children. This week he continues our series on the Fruit of the Spirit.
If we have the truth, but we’re going about presenting it in a mean way, how well is it really being received? One of the things that’s going on right now is that were in the midst of Pride Month. During this month the LGBTQ+ community is celebrating its views, which we see on ads and commercials. We believe this is contrary to how God has taught us to practice our sexuality, and it goes completely against the covenant. But the response that I’ve seen from some believers towards this specific community has truly been disheartening. If you have the truth, but you package it in a mean way, deliver it with hate, or just say to people, “I’m just gonna throw these scriptures at you or tell you that what you’re doing is an abomination,” does that truly reflect the heart of Christ?
When we were dead in our sins, when we were when we were lost, when we were without hope, before Christ, how did Christ encounter us? How did he find us? When we think about our worst sins, when we think about our worst moments, how was Christ’s heart towards us? Was he not gentle? Was he not gracious? Was he not forgiving? How do we treat those who have offended us? Do we block them on Facebook? Do we not invite them to the family picnics? Do we avoid them at church? Do we talk bad about them behind their back?
Or are we gentle with them? Do we pray for those who hurt us? Do we love those who hate us? Do we forgive unconditionally as the scriptures tell us to do? How do we treat those who look differently than us? Who dress differently than us? Who maybe have a different color skin than us? Who come from a different cultural background than us? Do we look at them as weird, or do we have a hatred towards them or a different perception towards them because of where they come from?
Do we ever think these thoughts: “Oh, they’re white, so they must be racist.” Or “They’re black, so and they must have a criminal record?” Or “They must come from a rough neighborhood, or they must think this way?”
How do we treat those who have a different political affiliation? Are we gentle towards them? Are we gracious towards them? Do we seek understanding? Can we love even in the midst of our disagreements?
The thing about Christ is he’s perfect. And in his being perfect, he exercises gentleness perfectly. He says, “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you learn from me. For I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:25-30) I have been reading a book called Gentle and Lowly: the Heart of Christ For Sinners and Sufferers. The idea of this book is that it’s the gentleness of Christ that leads sinners to repentance and brings comfort in the midst of suffering. If gentleness is the posture of Christ’s heart, then that should be posture of mine and ours as well.