Would you like to know more about the Fruit of the Spirit and how it can apply to your life? Do you desire to understand the biblical importance of this fruit? Then join us below as we answer these and other questions and learn about the Fruit of the Spirit that is gentleness!
The Fruit of the Spirit:
In Galatians 5:22-23 we find a list of nine attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit which are developed within us as we live according to the Holy Spirit—living in alignment with God’s will and character. These are:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”—Galatians 5:22-23
Yet, what do these mean for our lives, and what does the Word say about them?
The Fruit of the Spirit, Gentleness
Gentleness is the eighth listed attribute of the Spirit’s fruit found in the Galatians 5. Referenced in the New King James version of the Word only ten times, and perhaps not commonly used in our own daily lives, “gentleness” still possesses a unique importance.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary describes gentleness as essentially the act of being gentle, but what does that mean?
Well, to be gentle is in many ways the opposite of being harsh, cruel, or unyielding. Gentleness is a key trait of God toward us—only reprimanding or ‘harsh’ for our good.
Still, why is “gentleness” important enough to be included in the short list of these nine attributes of the Spirit’s fruit?
Well, consider Jesus. Yes, He did overturn the tables of those misusing the House of God—the Temple—and referred to those who led His people down a path not chosen by His Father as, “a brood of vipers,” yet… there was gentleness about Him. He let the children come to Him, He did not deny the Gentile woman who begged Him to heal her demon possessed daughter—even though the time of the Gentiles had not yet come. In all things He walked in gentleness, doing nothing unless it was the will of His Father. And since Jesus was and is God incarnate—obeying the Father in Heaven—then to walk in gentleness must be to live in sync with God.
“Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, ‘I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.’”—Matthew 15:32
We are meant to love, to be kind, to be gentle… and yet, to have this character does not mean that we are never to overturn the tables of the enemy—only that we need to be in alignment with God, walking in gentleness daily, yet overturning the enemy if God wills us to. “To everything there is a season” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Gentleness is ripe, as with all the Spirit’s fruit, even in seasons of war, strife, or rising up to overturn the tables as Jesus did…
Remember, Jesus did not pound the ground to make His case to those who tried to snare Him. Instead, He answered with Godly wisdom—Godly Words—in all gentleness, and His accusers never had a case against Him. Even when taken, Jesus restored the ear of one who would lead Him to His sentencing. Even when standing before His accusers, He did not scream forth His innocence in anger—instead remaining silent. Even when He was beaten, hanging upon the cross, and dying, He did not call down the hosts of Heaven to destroy. But instead, out of His love and in all gentleness, accepted our iniquities upon Himself so that we might be saved. Jesus walked in gentleness.
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”—Proverbs 15:1
Jesus’ life reminds us that sometimes the strongest action is silence, acceptance, and gentleness.
Even the strongest of actions can be done in gentleness.
“Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.”—Philippians 4:5
Walk in Gentleness
So, knowing what we now know of gentleness and its importance… how do we walk in it? After all, when we are accused falsely is not the usual instinct to state our case loudly—even in righteous anger? Or when innocent people suffer, do we not want to call down the hosts of Heaven—often without consulting God first?
Well, despite gentleness being sometimes a difficult fruit to walk in, we can build up our character in it by practicing it in every situation. Indeed, the best way to practice and garner all of the basic building blocks of the Spirit’s fruit is through the power of the Holy Spirit—God in us—whom Jesus granted us as Jewish and Gentile Believers to lead and guide us.
Through communing with the Holy Spirit, through spending time in the Word—listening to God’s voice in it and in us—we open ourselves more and more to the Fruit of the Spirit. And, as we walk in those attributes, we find that our adeptness with them increases—not because we ‘arrive,’ but because we practice and discover the Holy Spirit inside us. We find ourselves respecting and listening to Him as never before.
Now, there may be situations where any one of the Holy Spirit’s characteristics, such as gentleness, are tested beyond what we expect. Where we had begun to think of ourselves as walking in it fully, only to discover through some test that while yes, our daily walk improved, there is still room for improvement. Sadly, yet, beautifully, none of us will be utterly perfect aside from God. We are, after all, a work in progress from our first day on earth to the last. Yet, God never tests us beyond what we can endure. We can always grow closer to God and stronger in Him—in the Fruit of the Spirit.
“You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your gentleness has made me great.”—2 Samuel 22:36
We can, by learning to intimately know the voice of the Holy Spirit and allowing ourselves to be led by Him, discover in us the light of God. Finding that, though we are imperfect, God has chosen each of us as a vessel… as His light to a darkening world. For in Him we become perfect.
“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”—Matthew 5:48
We can alter our hearts—where these things begin—and make a difference… becoming more and more like Him. Walking in gentleness, in harmony with all of the Spirit’s fruit—and above all, walking in love.
Would you like to learn more about gentleness? Then click HERE to discover the benefits of being gentle!
Would you like to give of the favor you have found through gentleness? Then click HERE to discover how!
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Would you like to discover your Godly strengths? Then click HERE to find what God has put within you!
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch…”—Proverbs 15:1-3