Gentleness in the Marketplace

If zeal had been appropriate for putting humanity right, why did God the Word clothe himself in the body, using gentleness and humility in order to bring the world back to his Father?[1]          ~ Isaac of Nineveh

Each of us has a little corner of the world where we have influence.  For most of us, our influence is not widespread.  So how do we bring Christ to our little corner of influence?  We may think about having a Bible on our bookshelf, or a scripture quotation in a prominent place, or some other method.   I want to focus on one way that might not seem to fit with the marketplace—gentleness.  In fact, I believe that regularly displaying this trait can reveal the gospel more than just about anything else.

Gentleness is a trait that is often misunderstood. One of the best descriptions I have come across to explain this behavior is “not being overly impressed by a sense of one’s self-importance” (Doriani, 2016).[2]

There are a few reasons gentleness is a billboard for Jesus Christ.  One of the reasons is that this was one of the primary descriptors of Jesus in his time on earth.  He was gentle, like a shepherd caring for sheep (John 10).  The apostle Paul lists gentleness as a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5).

But there is another reason.  Gentleness does not seem to fit with the harsh realities of the marketplace.  In fact, in many business environments, it seems downright out of place.  So when we find opportunities to display this kind of care and patience with others, it is noticed.  The reason gentleness is noticed is that it cuts against the grain of our natural human condition. In our crazy world where the mob mentality is so prevalent, and our natural condition is to be self-protective, a gentle spirit in the face of injustice or hostile circumstances presents one of the most attractive features of our faith.  After all, we find rest for our own souls in Jesus, whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light, for he is “gentle and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29 NKJV).

As you move about influencing your little corner of the world, look for opportunities to shout the gospel…by being gentle.

[1] Gentleness. (n.d.). Retrieved from

[2] Doriani, D.  (January 12, 2016).  Are you gentle like Jesus?  Retrieved from

you-gentle-like-jesus/ January 5, 2017.


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