Paul mailed a letter from prison to his friends in Ephesus (situated in modern day Turkey). Previously, he had been arrested for no other reason than publicly expressing his beliefs. He could have turned bitter over unfair treatment. Instead, the first thing Paul wrote in his letter was this (Ephesus 4:2):
“Be completely humble and gentle;”
This morning as I was browsing the Internet, I listened to Tim McCraw’s rendition of “Humble and Kind”. For some reason the song lyrics caught my attention, one phrase in particular:
“Bitterness keeps you from flying, always be humble and kind.”
In the comment section below this particular video clip Lessie Perreves wrote:
“Even though I’ve been raised on this whole rule the song proposes, I do get really bitter/salty sometimes. Whenever that happens, I listen to this. It helps me feel better and helps remind me no one likes a bitter jerk.”
God knows we go through some rough patches sometimes. Dealing with our emotions as we are processing loss should be our number one priority. A broken heart cannot be unbroken, but it can be healed if we admit to our brokenness. A hardened heart on the other hand will continue to be stuck in trauma with little chance to move on.
We hate being broken and bruised. It is humbling to admit failure. And yet, buried in our humility lies a kernel of hope: our weakness of today pours into our strength of tomorrow. Bad experiences can promote understanding, and our newfound empathy will turn us into better neighbors.
If we have looked into Paul’s story, then we know that gentleness was not his strong suit, but his life turned around when he met Jesus; Paul allowed Jesus access to his heart, and that profoundly changed him.
We won’t be the same if we allow Jesus access to our hearts. Jesus is humility and kindness impersonated, and we can learn from Him. There is a lot of pain out there, and I believe this world hurts a great deal less with a good dose of humility and gentleness.