The Fruit of the Spirit Is… Gentleness

The Fruit of the Spirit Is… Gentleness

Just as trees produce certain fruits, Christians must produce certain qualities and characteristics on a daily basis. These qualities and characteristics are listed in Galatians 5:22-23 and are identified as “the fruit of the Spirit.” Part of the fruit we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to produce is gentleness. Oftentimes, we struggle with gentleness. That could be because we believe that gentle people constantly get run over in life or because we want to mask rudeness as “simply being straightforward.” What does the New Testament say about gentleness?

Gentleness is a basic concept in Christian life. As we strive to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling” (Ephesians 4:1), we are instructed to live “with all… gentleness” (Ephesians 4:2). As James says, “Wisdom from above is… gentle” (James 3:17). We are commanded to pursue gentleness (1 Timothy 6:12). We are to be gentle in talking to people about the hope that we have; as Peter says, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). When we talk to people about Scripture, especially those who we do not agree with, the conversation can quickly take a very aggressive turn. When that happens, we will only push people farther away from Jesus. When we are gentle, we open up doors of opportunity for God to work in people’s hearts. As Paul tells Timothy, “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24-26). Scripture teaches us that, when a brother or sister in Christ strays from the truth, those who are faithful are to do all that they can to bring them back to the Lord with gentleness (Galatians 6:1).

Take a moment to think about Jesus. Jesus is the one through whom God created the world (Hebrews 1:2); as Colossians 1:16 says, “by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Jesus “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus has been given the position as “head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:22). Speaking of Jesus, Paul says that “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name” (Philippians 2:9). As we describe Jesus in all these powerful ways, notice how He describes Himself in Matthew 11:29: “I am gentle and lowly in heart.”

This week, let’s be like Jesus. As we interact with people in the world and live with those closest to us in the home, let’s live based on gentleness. Consider other people’s feelings. Consider how your words and actions will make them feel. Please don’t forget to be gentle.

-Tyler Alverson


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