I had been thinking a lot lately about gentleness and its association with godliness when I stumbled upon this article by Mark Meynell.  It’s funny how God gives you wisdom in batches.  Meynell supplies a handy amount of Scripture on gentleness, particularly in leadership, and laments that it has become a forgotten virtue.  I briefly commented on how the feminist culture we live in has denounced gentleness as a feminine quality, and now even females abhor it.  And then I thought about one of the gentlest people I know: my brother, Luke.  Luke is a strong, manly, 32-year-old father of three.  He is a Christian man.  He is also the owner and main trainer of The Clinch Academy, a mixed-martial arts facility.  He’s hard-core-tough.  He’s also the gentlest man you could meet.  There is no ostensible vibe of his trained abilities exuding from his person.  When you talk to Luke you see humility and grace.  If there’s an elderly in the room, my brother will be the one holding their hand and opening their doors.  I grew up with the boy, and have always admired how well Luke handled himself in difficult circumstances.  I would get angry, but Luke was meek.  Sometimes I would get frustrated at his calm patience in handling conflict. Meekness, or gentleness, is really a spiritual gift that strengthens in maturity.  Our culture may look at meekness as simple or feminine, but its opposite is brash and childish.   Think of a toddler.  One of the first things we have to teach them is the word, “gentle.”  Whether it’s with the new baby or the new puppy, toddlers just want to bang them in the head and pull their hair out.  They just do.  But then we send them mixed messages as they grow.  As our children grow we teach them to be assertive: in sports, conflict, education, and networking.  While assertiveness isn’t necessarily the direct opposite of gentleness, we tend to treat it that way.  We don’t seem to value gentleness beyond sibling brawls. Yet throughout the Bible gentleness is a virtue, a command, and a blessing.  In his great Sermon on the Mount, Jesus proclaimed, Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5).    In his commentary, James M. Boice shows how this beatitude is coming right from Ps. 37.  According to this psalm, the meek “are those who trust in the Lord, who delight themselves in the Lord, who commit their way unto the Lord, who rest in the Lord.  It is these who are happy, according to Jesus Christ; and it is these who shall inherit the earth” (The Sermon on the Mount, James Montgomery Boice, p.34). Provided in Meynell’s article was Matt. 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 soulsGentle in this verse can also be translated as meek.  Jesus Christ is meek.  He has full trust and submission to his Father in heaven.  As Christ bids us to trust in and learn from him, he speaks of his own humility.  Leadership in humility, protection in meekness, trusting in God alone who is both sovereign and sufficient above all else—this is what we are reflecting in our own meekness—the greatest strength of all! Men and women model meekness by humbly serving in the role God has given them--all the while knowing that it is by grace we are there.  I am thankful that the Lord has been teaching me in the school of meekness, although I’m merely a freshman.    Paul taught us that his weaknesses gave glory to God’s strength.  When we recognize what the Good Lord did on our behalf, we can lead and serve with humility and grace. With that I salute my brother for pointing me to Christ in his meekness and great gentleness, and I pray with St. Augustine, “God grant what thou commandest and then command what thou wilt.”