Come to me,
all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
At one point in my professional life, I hired a consultant to help my team develop a 5-year strategic plan.
While I expected him to get us started by casting vision, creating a mission statement, setting goals and objectives; instead, he started with having each of us do personality inventories. I was perplexed.
I will never forget his reasoning: Being comes before Doing.
In other words, what we will do flows out of who we are as a person: our values, our personality, and our strengths.
In the passage above, we see the results of Jesus’ “personality inventory”. It is the only place in eighty-nine chapters of the four Gospels where Jesus tells us about his heart.
“…for I am gentle and lowly in heart.”
The heart, in biblical terms, is not part of who we are but the very center of who we are. It’s what defines and directs us. The heart drives all that we do.
In his book, Gentle and Lowly, author Dane Ortlund explains these two defining characteristics of Jesus’ heart as follows:
“Gentle. Jesus is not trigger-happy. Not harsh, not easily exasperated. He is the most understanding person in the universe. The posture most natural to him is not a pointed finger but open arms.”
“Lowly. Humble. He is accessible. For all his resplendent glory and dazzling holiness, his supreme uniqueness and otherness, no one in human history has been more approachable.”
“This is who he is. Tender. Open. Welcoming. Accommodating. Understanding. Willing.”
Think about it. The rest of those eighty-nine chapters in the Gospels go on to vividly demonstrate how Jesus’ doing flowed from his being. He touched lepers. He healed the sick. He socialized with tax collectors and prostitutes. He lifted the downcast. He calmed the demonic. And at the very end, he died on a cross hung between two thieves.
This kind and approachable Jesus stands ever ready to lead us into abundant life, now and forever.
1. What two words best represent your current view of God? What experiences have led you to that view?
2. Think about the gentlest, kindest person you know. How do both your body and mind react when you are near that person? Then imagine how much more Jesus can bring comfort to you.