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Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness

  • 3 min read

Gentleness

Do you remember the first time you held a baby? Even if you haven’t personally had the chance to coo over a brand new member of your family while taking in their fresh scent and soft skin, you have probably seen someone hold a newborn. Whoever is holding them seems to take extra caution, right? They secure the child’s head with their arm, every move meticulous and calculated to ensure that, if they can help it, nothing happens to that small bundle of joy as long as they are in their arms. Every interaction with the small child is full of gentleness like no other.

Be Gentle with Things You Value

Whenever we are extra gentle with anything in our life, like holding a brand new baby, it is because it holds some sort of value to us. Maybe you are gentle with your great-grandmother’s jewelry that has been passed down to you or the first love letter your partner wrote to you. Our gentleness comes from the thought that this object or person has some type of irreplaceable importance in our lives that we want to take care of.

Did you know that the concept of gentleness is one of the fruits of the Spirit? Galatians 5:22-23 says that, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” The way in which we move through Earth should not only exude all those other fruits of the Spirit, but also we should walk, talk, and act with the Spirit of gentleness preceding our every move.

Remember what I said about how we are often gentle to things that are important to us or we consider to have some sort of value? The same is true about how God looks at His people. Throughout the Bible, the Word shows us that gentleness is closely related to how we as believers interact with the rest of God’s sons and daughters.

Speak evil of no one

Titus 3:2 shows us that when we speak, we should focus on being gentle and understanding instead of becoming angry and arguing. It says, “To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people”. (Titus 3:2) Not only do the words we speak have power, but the tone in which we speak them is something that we can never take back. This means our actions, our words, and our tone must be intentionally aligned and reflects how God speaks and acts towards us--full of mercy, grace, and understanding The verse emphasizes that the gentleness we should strive for when we speak to others should include “all people” and not just the ones that only look like us or who grew up in the same small town. After all, we all belong to God and are each other’s brothers and sisters. God wants us to be gentle with each other and ourselves because He thinks of us as valuable and irreplaceable. 

Proverbs 15:4 says, “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” When our actions and our tongue are gentle, they breed a tree of life. Just like a tree, your words can help ground someone, be a source of nutrients, and offer shelter in need.

Gentleness through His grace

God shows us how to be gentle throughout the Bible and continues to offer us gentleness through His grace. Harvesting the fruit of gentleness in our daily lives is a sign of obedience to God that you, too, find His people and His kingdom of value. Christ exemplifies gentleness during His life on Earth. He says in Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul”

Choosing to harvest the fruit of gentleness in your life requires humbling yourself. When we are humble, God is proud and gives us grace.

In all, Ephesians 4:2 reminds us that, “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” Harvesting the fruit of gentleness helps draw others closer to the God that lives inside of you. Believers and non-believers will see the light of the Holy Spirit in you when you react in a way different than how the world would expect you to react when you are angry, condemned, or disappointed. Harvesting the fruit of gentleness helps to spread God’s love and directly allows God to move through you to help remind another one of God’s children that they belong and that they are loved by the most High.

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