The Humility & Gentleness of God
Good morning Immanuel. The Lord of mercy is gentle and lowly.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:1-2)”
The virtuous way of life that Paul describes is a reflection of the life of God. That's the basic principle at work in the latter half of Ephesians— that God commands what God embodies. God commands humility and gentleness because God is humble and gentle. How is God humble?
God is humble in his mercy, giving it even where it's not asked for.
God is humble in his love, applying it where it isn't deserved.
God is humble in his daily grace, making it rain on the evil and the good.
God is humble in his salvation, becoming a servant among us and a sacrifice for our sins.
God is humble in his exaltation, interceding for us, moment by moment, giving us grace to help in time of need.
But he's not only humble. God is gentle in his humility. Of the virtues I expected to characterize a life worthy of the calling to which we have been called, I didn't see this one coming. And that says something about the way that I tend to think about God. I don't know about you, but if my thoughts were to be put on trial, there is perhaps no place in which I'm more liable for slander than in my low thoughts of the gentleness of God. How often I've imagined God to be quick-tempered and heavy-handed because that's what I'm like. But listen to the way that Jesus describes his own heart in Matthew 11:29—
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
What an amazing reality we've landed in! The God of the universe is not only humble, using his power to serve us; the God of the universe is gentle, applying his humility in the most affectionate ways.