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.
There’s a video that I found, and I would like to share with you all to demonstrate the important connection of forgiveness to gentleness.
Corrie Ten Boom’s story is such a powerful story. She was in a Nazi concentration camp and suffered horrible injustices. Years later a prison camp guard was praying for an opportunity to ask for forgiveness from one of the people he’d hurt. God made a way for it to be her.It was only through being able to keep in step with the Holy Spirit, to be empowered by him, that she was able to forgive, to be gentle.
I could act like I have all the answers, and I could tell you how to be gentle and how to live this this Christian life and walk it out perfectly. But I’m no guru. I’m no subject matter expert. But the Bible says that Christ has sent us a helper (John 14:26), and that he is a friend that that sticks closer than a brother (John 15:12-15). So when we’re struggling to be gentle, when we’re struggling to be loving, when we’re struggling to forgive those who have hurt us, or be understanding towards those who believe or live in a manner that is contrary to our faith, how can we be those believers who are gentle with our words, as Proverbs says, “A gentle word turns away wrath”? (Prov. 15:1)
I realize that it’s so easy to be angry. Everybody’s angry nowadays. It’s the norm. It’s outrage culture. We’re outraged about what’s going on over here. And then we’re outraged about what’s going on over there. Everything that was happening in the Ukraine, it feels like that was years ago. Because now we’re on to something else. Now we’re angry about the shootings and everything that’s taking place. We should have such a righteous anger towards these things. But are we praying about it as much as we’re talking about it? Are we taking it to God as much as we’re posting about it on social media? Are we asking God for answers and solutions? Or are we just being people who want to stir up strife and division?
Jesus says in John 13:35, “By this all will know that your are my disciples, if you love one another.” Sometimes I feel ashamed that as a capital C Church, we’re more known for what we’re against, than what we’re really for. If you really think about it, Christ came to seek and save those who are lost. He came for the sick. He came for the poor, he came for the marginalized, he came for the hopeless, he came from the people struggling with depression, anxiety, mental health. He came for the people who are trapped, who are struggling with their sexual identity. We can alter our bodies and we can alter our minds, but only Christ can really transform the heart. The power of the Holy Spirit can do something much greater than our opinions can.
Let’s ask Christ to do a work in our hearts.
Photo by KEEM IBARRA on Unsplash