“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9
Jesus is gentle and humble, and He is aggressive and brave. Gentleness does not eliminate aggression, nor does humility cross out courage. Jesus is King of creation and ruler over the world, but He rules and leads with gentleness and humility. He describes Himself this way: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).
Power is not a rod of rejection for the gentle and humble leader. A gentle and humble leader uses his position of influence to serve others and help them to be their best. He brings to bear resources and relationships that facilitate the unity of the team. His gentle and humble approach to people increases their probability of success. There is no need to inflict fear as your mode of operation. Why cause people to cower in contempt because they are afraid?
Fear is a leadership technique of the insecure and incompetent leader. Obtaining results is no excuse to use intimidation as a tool. Certainly there are seasons of intensity that call for elevated effort and focused attention above the norm. But these windows of change are opportunities for the leader to provide stability and calm. It is a demeanor dependent on the Lord. Gentleness and humility lubricate the relational machinery of a home or enterprise. Gentleness is aggression under the control of the Holy Spirit, and humility is courage that is first committed to Christ.
Yes, some will take advantage of you and the situation, but over the long haul humility wins. You win over people and you win accounts. You win over adversity and you win the team’s loyalty. You win the respect of your family and friends. Most importantly, you win God’s blessing.
Yes, gentleness and humility risk rejection and risk of being trampled upon, but you cannot go wrong emulating the character of Christ. Your position of influence as a parent, pastor, executive, volunteer, sole proprietor, or teacher is not a place for pleading or passive aggression. Instead, use your influence to gently lead by example and to humbly confront those who are stuck on their agenda.
Gentleness and humility are children of great faith. This pride-less posture seeks daily a filling from the Holy Spirit and wisdom from God (Ephesians 3:14-19). A gentle follower of Christ has been broken before God. Like a wild and robust stallion, your will must be broken and aligned with the Almighty’s purposes.
Use this time of resistance to graft the gentleness of Jesus into your soul, and to embed the humility of your heavenly Father into your heart. Stay true to your personality and temperament; be loud and be bold if this is your wiring. But whoever you are, do everything in a spirit of gentleness and with a humble heart. Deflect attention from yourself, and trust Him for the proper recognition in His timing. Turn away from arrogance and pride. Embrace gentleness and humility, for they are twins birthed from transformation in Jesus.