But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there
is no law.
Well, we’re at the second to last fruit already! Gentleness can be shown in so many ways. We can have gentleness in the way we speak, in the way we interact with others, in the way we treat out siblings and in so many other circumstances as well.
We see throughout the Gospels that although Jesus was strong in character, he was gentle in spirit. He was always gentle with His disciples. Even when they messed up and failed miserably, he gently corrected them. As I was thinking about gentleness, I was reminded of Peter after he had denied Jesus. When they were together again after Jesus’ death and resurrection, Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. Peter said yes. Jesus asked him again and Peter said yes again. Jesus gently asked him yet again if he loved Him and Peter (a little upset now) said yes again. Jesus was very gentle and kind to Peter even when he had betrayed Him.
Many times, people think that gentleness is being extremely quiet and not talking loudly or being very shy. That isn’t necessarily true. Although those mannerisms are usually aspects of a gentle person, it doesn’t mean someone with a more outgoing personality can’t be. There aren’t many places in the Bible that speak specifically about gentleness, but we do see many examples of the people in the Bible who do portray gentleness. Gentleness is holding our tongue when we just want to lash out something mean towards someone that has wronged us. It’s keeping our hands to ourselves when our siblings are running away from us and we need them to come to us. It’s speaking kind things and being loving towards everyone. Gentleness is so much and there are so many ways we can change to learn to be better in this area.
Gentleness is described as being free from harshness, sternness, or violence. I know that many times, I’m harsh with the way I respond to something a person does. I also can become stern with my siblings when I think they’re doing something wrong. I need to stop and realize that there isn’t just one way to do something and they may be right and I need to gently respond to whatever they’re doing with my suggestion and then stop nagging at them. Being gentle requires we be kind. It also means we be moderate. By moderate, I mean, avoiding extremes in the way we act. It means being calm when situations occur and giving a gentle answer. Proverbs 15:1 says:
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
This verse gives the exact definition and uses the same word as the dictionary. Every time I see this verse, it reminds me of how much I need to change. I think of when I say something mean to my sister and she gets angry at me. This verse always pops into my head after I say something harsh. What a coincidence, eh? :P I think that’s God reminding me time and time again that I need to be more careful and gentle when I speak. :)
Do you have any ideas of how we can learn to become gentler?
Any thoughts on gentleness?