Well it’s that time of year. This Friday we will graduate another class of seminary students at RTS Charlotte, sending them off to serve the Lord in a variety of ways. And during each of these graduations, I have an opportunity to give a final “charge” as the president of the campus.
This year, I have been reflecting on RTS’s motto: “A mind for truth, and a heart for God.” At RTS, we care very much about the mind—we value rigorous scholarship combined with a commitment to the historic truths of Reformed theology. But that is not all that matters to us. We also care about our students’ hearts; what kind of person they are, and where their affections lie.
In other words, preparation for ministry involves more than intellectual-doctrinal development. It also involves the development of one’s character.
Now, there’s lots that can be said about what should mark a person’s heart, but I think we can all agree that the heart of Jesus should be our model. It should be our pattern. We should want our heart to look like his.
As Dane Ortlund has pointed out in his book Gentle and Lowly, there’s only one place in all the Gospel were Jesus specifically describes his heart. It’s a brief, but stunningly profound statement: “I am gentle and lowly in heart” (Matt 11:29)
The essence of Jesus’ heart is one of gentleness. Kindness. Tenderness. Humility.
So, why does gentleness matter so much? Why should we strive to be men and women who are gentle and lowly? Here are a few quick thoughts. [Continue reading]