Although I have read these verses many times, something was different yesterday when I reflected upon them. I have typically viewed these verses in the context of the gentleness and compassion of our Lord. However, there is also a tone of strength in these words. Although the Chosen Servant will not break the bruised reed nor quench the smoldering wick, he will bring justice to victory. That certainly gives the Gentiles reason for hope.
I believe the message in these few verses is very pertinent for believers today in regard to how we share the Good News with others. Are we faithful to the message while being gentle and compassionate in the delivery? There is plenty of pain and hurt in the hearts of many people. The world can sometimes be a very cruel experience. Reaching out to people with the Gospel message is certainly an admirable task, especially when they are hurting. Does the Gospel message bring hope for healing and forgiveness, or does it bring shame, guilt, and condemnation? What is the Gospel we proclaim in our words and in our actions?
Communication methodologies have changed immensely over the last 20 years and some key ingredients to effectiveness seem to have been lost in the process. Where is respect, honor, common courtesy, and tact? An abrasive personality in a face-to-face interaction is bad enough, but give that same individual the opportunity to communicate through e-mail and abrasiveness can be taken to a whole new level. The inability to hear the tone of one's voice in electronic communications can be a detriment to realizing just how rude, crude, uncouth, and socially unacceptable the message may truly be. This type of experience can be devastating to an already spiritually and emotionally wounded individual, and if it comes from a person in a position of authority, the impact is even more catastrophic.
It is important for people of faith to build up the Kingdom of God through our words and actions. Even if the majority of the secular culture would prefer that Christians keep their worldview to themselves, we have a responsibility to continue to live our lives in faithfulness and fidelity to our Lord, Jesus Christ. Furthermore, we have a responsibility to be a beacon of hope to others who are struggling. Are we willing to bring the love of Christ to others without breaking the bruised reed nor quenching the smoldering wick?