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A Spirit of Gentleness - Daily Treasure - April 10

  • 2022 Apr 10

A Spirit of Gentleness

Sharon W. Betters

TODAY’S TREASURE

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load (Galatians 6:1-5).

Dear Friends,

Throughout these devotionals, we have watched Jesus interact with sinners. In His religious culture, sinners and those considered unclean were cast off and avoided. We saw this with the woman who had the issue of blood. She had to yell, “Unclean, unclean” whenever in public. People reacted to her with disdain because if they touched her, they would have to go through a rigorous cleansing process. Lepers, too, had to cry out, “Unclean, unclean” for fear others would be infected with leprosy. Religious leaders so focused on keeping themselves outwardly pure contrast with Jesus who, instead of turning away from the touch of sinners, turned toward them, embracing each one.

The women of Easter reflect this tender response of Jesus to sinners. Though unclean when they met Him, He welcomed each one and offered the cleansing miracle of forgiveness. In response to His love and grace, women attended to the needs of Jesus and His disciples in the midst of great danger.

Over the next two days, we will finish our time with Mary of Magdala, the woman cleansed by Jesus of numerous evil spirits. Mary’s relationship with Jesus perfectly exemplifies His view not only of women but of anyone considered unclean by culture or religious leaders. Think of those you avoid or may have avoided when you were younger. Instead of seeing each one through the heart of Jesus, you saw only their sin. Instead of reflecting on the call of Jesus to “come as you are”, you turned your back on the broken person, privately glad of the consequences they suffered because of their sin. You privately thought, “They deserve what they are getting”. Sometimes I think we have lost the battle for morality in our country, the United States. We struggle with condemnation of the sinful choices of those surrounding us, perhaps in our own families. Maybe this is the time Jesus calls us to open our hearts and arms to them. It’s such a hard place, isn’t it? Yet the Apostle Paul cuts through our confusion:

…if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness (Galatians 6:1).

Paul acknowledges there is sin but instead of harsh condemnation and avoidance of this person, Paul tells us gentleness is the road to restoration. We must ask ourselves if our judgmental spirit stems from our own inadequate view of the underserved mercy and love God extends to us. Perhaps our view of our own sin does not go deep enough. Jesus’ response to Mary Magdalene must cause us to stop and examine our own responses to those difficult people. 

As we get closer to Easter, ponder how you treat people represented by the women of the resurrection. Do you whisper, “unclean, unclean,” or will you pray about how to bring restoration through gentleness?

Treasured by Him,

Sharon

PRAYER

Oh, Father, thank you for Easter!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Sharon W. Betters is a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, pastor’s wife, and cofounder of MARKINC Ministries, where she is the Director of Resource Development. Sharon is the author of several books, including Treasures of EncouragementTreasures in Darkness, and co-author with Susan Hunt of Aging with Grace. She is the co-host of the Help & Hope podcast and writes Daily Treasure, an online devotional.

For more from Daily Treasure please visit MARKINC.ORG.



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