Tenderness Is Fearlessness
“Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. Luke 23:34
When you look at Christ the King, you see the tendency toward tenderness. It is upside-down in man’s world but right-side up in God’s world. A true measure of courage is willingness to be tender when compassion demands it. Inability to be tender is fear — of man, of appearances, or of reality, which hides an even deeper fear of responsibility.
Ask yourself, have I trained myself through life’s tough spots in relationships not to feel? Start in your immediate circle of influence and ask yourself, Will I wimp out or step into those needs with compassion? Will I offer a gentle touch or rationalize it away? Will I let myself see the pain instead of trying to fix the problem? Will I give away my own dignity to restore someone else”?
We all have our protective devices to protect our manhood. Macho men are not tender. We quite naturally fight the feelings or compassion thoughts for ways to triumph by fixing the problem. It’s hard to just show up and be there, without trying to offer some thought or some deed where we can step in and be the “man,” empathy is not the way we are naturally wired.
Compassion trumps condemnation every time and that practical empathy provides needed emotional shade to the sun-baked and weary soul — a comfort, a relief, a pause that allows that person to forget their pain and find hope again. The tenderness of Jesus in comforting others in pain is well documented. His kindness never weakened His stamina or softened His fiber—it just made Him stand out more as a leader. His tenderness made him both revered and fearless.
Father, thank you for teaching me to have the tenderness of Jesus.