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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Sermonette--Gentle People

Will the gentle (meek) people really inherit the earth? That's what Jesus said.

How can you tell if a person is gentle? I've known people who speak with loud voices who are also gentle--and ones who were soft spoken who could be downright cruel. So perhaps voice isn't the best indicator. Size is much the same--some large people are gentle and some are not; ditto small people.

If physical and verbal indications might be deceiving, might not first impressions also be such? I used to think I was adept at making judgments based on first impressions. For instance, Joe and Kathy, the young couple who showed up at a Christian retreat I was at back in the '70s (yes, I really am that old).

Joe had a long beard in an era where only hippies and ne'er-do-wells wore them. Kathy wore a kerchief around her head and a long flowered skirt. Yep, hippies. They probably had just been camped nearby and decided to cop some free food. I'd bet they weren't even married--you know that free-love bunch.

A couple of months later, they showed up at our church in Montpelier, Idaho. Kathy was pregnant. Well, what could you expect from young people like that? First thing I found out--Joe was actually employed. By the railroad. A supervisor there. Wow. Kathy turned out to be one of those gentle people I spoke of in the first paragraph. If you look up sweetheart in the dictionary...yup, there's her picture.

Kathy and Joe became some of our best friends there in Montpelier. If anyone needed help with anything--there they were. Faithful at church. Constant in prayer for others. Very, very nice folks, and not the least bit hippy-ish--whatever that meant.

That wasn't the only time God made me step back and take a look at my judgments. He reminds me time after time only He can see the heart. Get to know the fruits that show up in the wake of people who are gentle. First impressions can be miles off track.

The following verses are in the King James version of the Bible, but if it's unclear to you, you can always go to this website and get varying versions to help you understand: http://biblehub.com/matthew/7-1.htm

"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." Matthew 7:1-5, KJV

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