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The Spiritual Man, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

58- Gentleness and courage

 

St-Takla.org         Image: Andrea del Castagno. The Youthful David. c. 1450. Tempera on leather mounted on wood. 115.5 x 77 cm. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA. صورة: رسم الفنان أندريا ديل كاستانو - شباب داود (مع جليات)، سنة 1450، زخرفة على جلد موضوع على خشب بمقاس 115.5  77 سم، محفوظة في متحف الفن القومي (ناشونال جاليري أوف آرت)، واشنطن العاصمة، أمريكا

St-Takla.org Image: Andrea del Castagno. The Youthful David. c. 1450. Tempera on leather mounted on wood. 115.5 x 77 cm. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: رسم الفنان أندريا ديل كاستانو - شباب داود (مع جليات)، سنة 1450، زخرفة على جلد موضوع على خشب بمقاس 115.5 77 سم، محفوظة في متحف الفن القومي (ناشونال جاليري أوف آرت)، واشنطن العاصمة، أمريكا

The Lord Jesus Christ was very gentle. He even said: Learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly (Mt 11:29). And in spite of that, He was very strong and courageous. He stood before the scribes and Pharisees and revealed their hypocrisy. And He stood before the Sadducees and put them to shame; and before the elders and rebuked them.

David the Prophet was gentle and was courageous.

He was courageous as he stood against Goliath the giant and defeated him at a time when the army was afraid (Sam 17). He was gentle as it was said in the Psalm: Lord, remember David and all his afflictions (Ps 132:1).

Moses the Prophet was also gentle , courageous and strong.

Gentle, as it has been said about him: Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth (Num 12:3). And he was courageous and strong as he stood against all the people when they worshipped the golden calf which they made, so he : ...burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder and he scattered it on the water (Ex 32:20).

Abraham, the father of fathers, was gentle and courageous.

He was gentle as he bowed himself down before the sons of Heth, when he bought from them the field and the cave to use as a burial place for Sarah (Gen23:12). But still, his courage showed as: When Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants (Gen 14:14). He also rose against four kings, defeated them and rescued Lot and Sodom from captivity. And when the king of Sodom wanted to give him a share in the spoils, he said to him with self-dignity : I will take nothing from a thread to a sandal-strap,... lest you should say, I have made Abram rich (Gen 14:23).

The monks were gentle, but they were courageous in defending the faith.

It is wrong to think that the quality of gentleness stops you from being courageous and turns you into a motionless corpse with no sense of honour, no gallantry and no life...! You should acquire the virtues and place before yourself the saying of the Holy Bible:

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven (Eccles 3:1).

You use gentleness when gentleness is better and you use courage when courage is needed, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. Both are in you. You show each at the right time that suits it...

Gentleness does not mean weakness. And strength does not mean violence.

Wisdom and understanding are both mixed with gentleness and strength. A weak person could not be in the image of God and according to his likeness. But in order to be strong, he should not turn to rashness and lose his gentleness and good manners.

Gentleness does not prompt laziness, and kindness does not prompt others to make fun of you.

If a person was kind, it does not mean that people make fun of him and he loses his dignity, his rights and his standing.

Otherwise, some will hate kindness and see that people are using it against them. The problem is not in kindness but in misunderstanding it and the lack of mixing it up with wisdom and strength of personality.

You weigh each virtue with an accurate scale, and you do not practise it separate from other virtues. And if you find that the outcomes are negatives...

You should know that negatives are not the result of the virtue but of misunderstanding it, or misusing it, or the lack of wisdom in it.

You can have a kind heart, but this kindness does not mean to let others lead you or, with a weak personality, you share in the mistakes of others. Or because you fear the anger of another, you share with him in wrong-doing or compliment him in an obvious offence...


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