For those of you who don’t know, I went to Wooster Christian School from Pre-K through 6th grade. My church and school were the same building and I grew up a pastor’s kid as well so, you could say, I grew up a little sheltered. WCS just went through 8th grade and my parents thought it was best that I experience public middle school before just jumping into public school as a freshman.
August of 2005 rolled around and tall, lanky Jake graced the halls of a local Jr High for his first day of public school. I knew one person in that whole building and they didn’t even share my homeroom. As I encountered people, I quickly began hearing words that I was told never to utter. Things were talked about that I never would have thought to talk about. I decided to play a sport that I had never played organizationally and soon found out that public and private schools handled sports VERY differently.
I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.
Mom and Dad raised us kids to be gentle and in such a not gentle environment, I was made to wonder if gentleness was a bad quality. However, I came to understand it as a biblical characteristic.
Our readings today talk about the value of being gentle as a good way to diffuse a situation and keeping good accounts with people. Sure, there were times where I failed at this but I came to realize that, just because I wasn’t a freak of nature that would sacrifice my body for a sport and didn’t talk the way others did, didn’t mean that I was anything less than the man God was forming me into.
I am particularly drawn to the Titus passage and the word “all” that is present. I have begun to see that word for what it is…a 100% word. When “all” is used, we aren’t talking about a group of people but ALL people. When Paul tells Titus to remind the people to show consideration to all people, he is talking about every individual they encounter…not just the ones that are easy to love.
Gentleness may not be the first word people would use to describe you but, in the same breath, are you, as Paul states, peaceable, gentle and showing consideration for ALL people?
How you respond to people and how you treat them will go a long way to setting yourself apart as holy. During my 6 years at this school, I took it upon myself to, the best of my ability, stand apart as different while being gentle to all people. I thank God for the ministry He gave me those years and even beyond.
I pray that all of us can practice gentleness…even if it’s not the most popular thing to do.