Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“Thy gentleness hath made me great.”
When Paul said that “the man of God must not strive”, he meant that the man of God must not have a belligerent, arrogant attitude. People who are sincere and humble are repulsed by a hateful, sarcastic spirit. If a certain doctrine causes its adherents to have an ungodly attitude toward the sinful, then pray that God will never let you believe that doctrine. It is remarkable that some ministers and teachers think that hatefulness toward those who are wrong pleases God.
Before I was born, the Lord demanded that my father burn his gospel tracts in a bonfire because they had a harsh tone in them toward those who did not see the truth. From what I was told, there was a pretty large pile of gospel tracts that went up in flames in our backyard, but then, it was better for those unkindly worded tracts to be cast into that earthly fire than for my father to be cast into the fire of God’s judgment.
No one who has learned truth from God is made arrogant by it. God’s truth humbles people; it does not make them harsh and cruel. No one who acceptably serves the living God is hateful toward those who are astray. The author of Hebrews, if you remember, said that God encompasses His ministers “with infirmity” so that they may “have compassion on [not sarcasm toward] the ignorant, and on them who are out of the way.” If any man possesses the knowledge of God, he will be gentle with those whom he judges as being “out of the way.”
If we would serve Christ acceptably, we must always remember that it is God’s gentleness that makes a man great (Ps. 18:35).
I could easily have become cruel and proud if I had not had the correction and guidance that God gave me through those who were over me in the Lord. I learned to hate the sharpness of tone that pride causes us to have toward others who are not like us. I learned that the way of Jesus is the way of love and of mercy. And he will make us ever gentler and wiser, if we will humble ourselves and listen to his voice. He invited us to do that when he said, “I am meek and lowly; come learn of me.”