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Ten Concepts, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

54- What is gentleness?


A meek or gentle person is calm, good-natured, lenient, and cheerful. He is calm, does not get angry, agitated, or furious, but their voice is gentle and pleasant. He does not get nervous for he is composed.

The Lord Christ in His meekness was described as, "He will not quarrel nor cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench" (Matt. 12:19,20), (Is. 42:2,3).

A meek person is calm internally and externally. Peace dominates his heart, so he does not feel anxious or

disturbed. He is on peaceful terms with all, he attacks no one, hurts no one, is not harsh, and is not revengeful, even when attacked. Image: Jesus washing the feet of His Disciples, Coptic icon. صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أيقونة قبطية حديثة: المسيح يغسل أرجل تلاميذه. Image: Jesus washing the feet of His Disciples, Coptic icon.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أيقونة قبطية حديثة: المسيح يغسل أرجل تلاميذه.

The meek person never interferes in the affairs of others, nor sets himself a guard over their works. Thus he condemns no one, and even if he interferes in correcting someone, he does it calmly as the Apostle said, "Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” (Gal. 6:1). He restores such a brother by calm persuasion, in humbleness fearing lest he himself be tempted.

A meek person bears others with long-suffering. He is tolerant; he puts before him the words of the Scriptures, "A soft answer turns away wrath" (Prov. 15:1).

He looks towards God's example in forbearance and long-sufferance towards sinners.

He never grumbles either in his relation with God or with people, but on the contrary, he is always cheerful and smiling.

The meek person is often shy, as we have discussed this issue before here on in other sections. He is known for his bashfulness and even as one of the fathers said, 'He does not look fully at anyone's face'. He does not examine one's features nor go deep within them to know their hearts.

He does not analyze people and their feelings for his looks are simple. He is shy and always bashful.

The meek are easy to deal with. He is simple; he has no cunning, craftiness or malice. He is plain; does not conceal things and show others, nor complicate matters. He is clear in his dealings; does not beat around the bush nor makes plans. Dealing with him gives comfort because he is simple, clear and pleasant.

He is gentle, sweet and good-natured. He is loved by all because he is good. Even if he is oppressed by some, many will defend him and rebuke the person who oppressed him, saying, 'Have you found no one but this good person to treat unjustly?' Moreover, the person who treated him unjustly would come eventually and apologize to the person he accused and also those who defended the accused, because he did no harm but showed love and gentleness to all people. Suffice that the Lord says, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matt.5:5). He will inherit the earth and heaven as well, besides having God's grace with him always.

A meek person is obliging. He is inclined to comfort people and not resist them. He does not go on arguing, discussing, persisting and inquiring but does what is good and quietly, immediately without delay and without discussion. He does not hold to his views in every thing as some may do, but lets it pass as long as the matter is not against the commandment. Therefore he is not biased, for he loves all people.

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