Men • Devo #6 • “’Little Christs’ Modeled”

Being tender-hearted is hard for many of us. I do not think it is a stretch to say that being kind and gentle to those around us goes against our very nature at times. In a society that places so much emphasis on the importance of yourself and making sure your needs are met, it can be tough to look at those around us with compassion and love. When I am driving and I get cut off by someone who is in a rush and endangers me and the other people on the road because of their selfishness, the first thing that comes into my mind is not tenderheartedness. It is a hard thing for us to do.

As Christians, we are called to be “little Christs,” that is to say that we are commanded to be the best examples and the best pictures of Jesus that we can be. Jesus was the most tenderhearted person to ever walk the Earth. The examples and demonstrations of His compassion are innumerable in the Bible. 

John chapter 8 shows us one such example of Jesus being tenderhearted and graceful. A woman that had been caught in adultery is brought before Jesus. In the Hebrew law at that time, this meant that the woman deserved the death penalty. In verse 7, we see Jesus respond, “And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Jesus did two things in this statement. He called out the Pharisees by essentially saying “she is no more a sinner than any of you” but He also offered this woman mercy. Jesus is tenderhearted and kind enough to forgive this woman’s sinful act and not look at her as anything less than a creation of God. He spoke with gentleness when He forgave her and He was kind in the way that He told her to give up on her sinful ways. 

For men, it can be difficult to speak tenderly, to speak gently. Our culture has taught us to be rigid, unwavering, emotionless, guardians. That is not the attitude that Jesus wants us to have. At times, we have to be firm but at our core, we are expected to be tenderhearted and loving to those around us. Do not let society fool you; emotions are not weakness. Being kind, being gentle, and being tender is not being passive, it is being loving and as 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.”

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