“Gentleness corrects whatever is offensive in our manner.” ~Hugh Blair
“But the fruit of the Spirit is … gentleness …” ~Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
In our continuing series on being like a tree in 2012, we’ve been looking at the types of fruit that naturally grow out of a heart that’s being transformed from the inside out by the love of God.
This week’s fruit is gentleness (also translated as meekness and humility.)
Gentleness has been described as strength with a tender touch. It doesn’t angrily overreact or passively under-react. It’s meekness and mildness combined with tenderness. Being even-tempered rather than reacting in anger. A patient suffering of injuries without a spirit of revenge. Gentleness holds all affections and passions in even balance.
Gentleness is unpretentiousness, humility, and lowliness of mind with Christ as our ultimate example. Gentleness includes indulgence toward the weak and erring. It’s how Jesus handled the sick and sinners with a gentle word or touch. As we walk humbly with our God, we acknowledge every favor and are thankful for every blessing because we realize we depend on His grace.
Jesus taught, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5 NIV)
Paul also taught the early church how to treat each other with gentleness. “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1-2 NIV)
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2 NIV)
Gentleness is not weak. It is strength under control.
What about you? Do you see gentleness as weakness or a strength? Can you think of a situation where gentleness would have been welcomed?