Be Gentle

“Remind them . . . to be gentle” (Tit. 3:1-2). The adjective “gentle” (epieikes) means “reasonable, fair, kind, gentle, good” (Liddell-Scott); “gracious, forbearing.” (Louw-Nida) To be gentle is to be fair and kind in the treatment of others.

Peter wrote, “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle [epieikes], but also to those who are unreasonable” (1 Pet. 2:18, NASB, emphasis added). Peter says that there are gentle masters and unreasonable masters. Thus, gentleness is reasonableness, fairness, and kindness in treating other people. The opposite of gentleness is unreasonableness, unfairness, and unkindness to others.

Jesus was gentle to others. He said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart” (Matt. 11:28-29). How was Jesus gentle? He treated others with respect, esp. the un-respectable people of society—the poor, the blind, the lame, and the lepers. He was kind to His enemies. On the cross, He said, “Father, forgive them.” He was gentle to those who wanted to kill Him.

We are to be gentle to all people, esp. people who hurt us. We are to treat them reasonably, fairly, and kindly.


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