Journal Entry // October 25, 2021
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,  to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.Titus 3:1-2 ESV
Paul’s final reminder to the people under the care and shepherding of Titus was focused on their relationships with everyone. The command to love your neighbor does not require an in depth study to determine who is my neighbor for everyone is my neighbor. Paul is reminding us that to love our neighbor we will see these general characteristics being developed and utilized in our lives: submissive, obedient, ready for good works, speech, avoiding quarrel, gentle, and courtesy.
The importance of relationships is a topic that seems to keep bubbling up to the surface in my Bible reading and preparing for leading small group. I have neglected the importance of relationships for a very long time. I have tended to make relationships more about me than the other person. What joy or pleasure or satisfaction can I gain from this relationship was the underlying goal even though I never really thought about it that way or made that my ambition. Still, looking back over the relationships in my life through the years, I can see this heart attitude being pervasive throughout.
I read over this list of characteristics from Paul and I see how often I fall short of even the “simple” ones. As I keep reviewing the list, my eyes keep focusing on being gentle. Jesus describes himself as being gentle and lowly of heart. This is how I want my heart to be known. I want my relationships to see the gentleness of Christ flowing through me into their lives. All these other characteristics come forth naturally out of a heart that is gentle and lowly.
Gentleness with myself, God, and everyone is what I want to see deepen and develop in my life this week. I want to see gentleness overwhelming my heart through the Spirit of Christ. I want to be gentle with myself. I want to be gentle in my relationship with God. I want to foremost see these deepen. I want to see the gentleness of Christ and his abundance overwhelm me this week. And in this abundance of gentle love, I want to extend this to all my other relationships. To leave behind all my fears and worries and anxieties to see the gentle loving hand of my Father leading me safely through these troubled times. I want to see Jesus this week. Each and every moment I want to be aware of his presence. His gentle loving presence embracing me.