As Jesus begins to describe what his Kingdom will be like in the Sermon on the Mount, he’s just three sentences in when he mentions gentleness (also translated “meekness”), “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5.5). In doing so, he directly quotes Psalm 37.11, a psalm of David very familiar to listeners eagerly awaiting a Messiah who’d make everything right.
In Psalm 37, David contrasts “those who are evil” and those who “trust in the Lord” (Psalm 37.1-3). A characteristic of those who trust in God, particularly as they observe the success and prosperity of the wicked around them, is gentleness. God’s people demonstrate gentleness when they “Commit [their] way to the Lord” (Psalm 37.5). The ancient Hebrews would’ve read this as “Roll your path onto the Lord,” an act to be trusted because God is leading it.
It’s the same for us: because we can trust where that path goes, we can respond with meekness (gentleness) when things don’t go the way we want. Our goal is to allow the Spirit to supernaturally allow us to demonstrate tenderness and humility.
This leads to our One Big Question: What do we need to surrender to God (pride, control, anger, selfishness) in order for the Spirit to empower us to demonstrate gentleness toward others?