gentleness (especially given the politial culture of our day)

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.

Titus 3

 In the culture of our day in America, if you can call it that, it seems like political speak has reached new lows. That really may not be the case though, if one notes American history. What might be a new low is the degree to which Christians have bought into the culture. It may not be in the volume with which it is said (although it can be), but more in the words that are used.

I don’t think much of what some Christian leaders have said (though thankfully many have done well in this) which either is part of the problem in what is said, or does not wisely take into account this problem, and feeds the frenzy. We don’t have to agree with public officials, but we do need to avoid slandering them (see text quoted above) and we need to express our differences with gentleness. With appeals and well thought out arguments designed to persuade. That is not really what the context of the passage above is about, but this application I think can be derived from it.

If we are to be gentle people, or as the above text says, “gentle toward everyone,” that should start at home, where we are most fully ourselves. We need to take the edge off of our words, and learn to disagree with others in a way that honors them, that does not despise their thoughts or weaknesses. “What goes around, comes around,” and we need plenty of grace ourselves. We need to think and above all pray before we speak. To sit on it for an hour or more, or better yet, overnight, is a good practice. We may find that what was burning in our hearts to say now seems better off left unsaid. But if we do speak, let us labor to do so with gentleness and an ear always to listen.