Like Jesus: Tenderhearted

We live in a world that celebrates bravado and even ruthless behavior.  Even the word meekness is thought to be weakness by many.  Biblical meekness is actually restrained power; having the power over someone but exercising mercy instead.

To be sure, Jesus spoke truth and at times He was very straightforward especially to the religious elite.  But we see the tenderhearted Jesus dealing with the woman about to be stoned for adultery, when He challenged the religious leaders, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first” (John 8:7 NKJV).  He forgave the sin without excusing the sin by telling her to go and sin no more.

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians encouraged Christians to, “…be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV).  This scripture is certainly a recipe for strength held in restraint (meekness).

So how does this play out in our lives?  We give people a little grace when we could nail them to the wall.  Instead of playing “gotcha” we can say, “I’ve got this!”  We all need the benefit of a doubt from time to time.

In my own life, I can replay the times when people had the power to cause me trouble but were kind to me and gave me mercy.  I need to pay some of that back if I can.  But more than a payback to my fellow earth dwellers, it is the response of one who has been forgiven by God through the death of His Son Christ Jesus.  Having received mercy, now I need to show mercy to others.

Today and next week, take advantage of opportunities to be kind, tenderhearted, merciful, and forgiving; when you do, you will look a lot like Jesus!

My prayer:  Father, thank you for your tender mercies toward me.  I did not deserve forgiveness but because of your Son, no stones were thrown my way out of judgment.  Help me to walk away from the pile of rocks once stacked against me so that I take none with me to hurl at others.  As one who was granted mercy and grace, help me to be likeminded as Christ.  Let me give what I have received from Your hands-grace and mercy.

–Harry Whitt

Pathway Outreach Ministries

New Life Christian Center

 

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