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. Matthew 11:29
In November 1742, a riot broke out in Staffordshire, England, to protest against the Gospel message Charles Wesley (an Anglican minister ) was preaching. It seems Charles and his brother John were changing some long-standing church traditions, and that was too much for many of the townsfolk.
When John Wesley (minister and evangelist) heard about the riot, he hurried to Staffordshire to help his brother. Soon an unruly crowd surrounded the place where John was staying. Courageously, he met face to face with their leaders, speaking with them so serenely that one by one their anger was assuaged.
John Wesley’s gentle and quiet spirit calmed a potentially savage mob. But it wasn’t a gentleness that occurred naturally in his heart. Rather, it was the heart of the Saviour whom Wesley followed so closely. Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:2). This yoke of gentleness became the true power behind the apostle Paul’s challenge to us: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).
In our humanness, such patience is impossible for us. But by the fruit of the Spirit in us, the gentleness of the heart of Christ can set us apart and equip us to face a hostile world. When we do, we fulfil Paul’s words, “Let your gentleness be evident to all” (Philippians 4:5)
Father, When I get angry and want to strike back; to hurt those who have hurt me. Remind me in those moments that the Lord Jesus displayed a heart of gentleness and compassion to His adversaries. Help me to be more like Him. In His name I pray. Amen.