Gentleness – “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness…” Gal 5:22-23
“Let your gentleness be evident to all.” – Philippians 4:5
How unfortunate that too many people equate gentle with weak. Yet, Gentleness doesn’t mean weakness. Rather, it involves humility and thankfulness toward God, and polite, restrained behavior toward others.
To be gentle is to recognize that God’s ways and thoughts are high above our own (Isaiah 55:9). It is to humbly realize that our worldviews are shaped by exposure to sin and the misunderstanding of experience. It is to accept God’s worldview, reflecting truth about the spiritual and the material worlds.
God is not as concerned with our comfort as He is concerned with our spiritual growth, and He knows how to grow us far better than we do. Gentleness means that we accept that the rain falls on the evil and the just and that God may use methods we don’t like to reach our hearts and the hearts of others.
God wants us to give Him control of our lives. Relying on our own logic, we have no impulse to submit to God’s leadership. With the wisdom given to us by the Holy Spirit, however, we begin to see why we should completely submit to God as Lord of our lives.
The Bible goes out of its way to demonstrate Jesus’ gentleness. In fact, the Old Testament depicts the Messiah as unusually gentle, telling us that Jesus would not break a “bruised reed” or snuff out a “smoldering wick” (Isaiah 42:3). In the Gospels, Jesus affirmed His gentleness: “I am gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29). Jesus gave us the perfect picture of gentleness, and now He offers us His gentleness as a gift. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we will be filled with fruit of gentleness.
Gentleness is a strong hand with a soft touch.