“But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
Gentleness must never be confused with weakness. True gentleness comes from an inner strength. It is at its best when it grows out of the true knowledge of being loved by God and no longer having to strive for recognition. It is a truly blessed quality,
“the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)
Gentleness is not arrogant, proud or self-seeking. It does not lash out in anger or retaliation. It is considerate and caring. It sees the fragility in others and looks to comfort and heal. There are many examples of the gentleness in Jesus, who was also quite capable of challenging others and of being demonstrably angry at times. He rode into Jerusalem not as a proud conqueror on a horse but, “gentle and riding on a donkey.” (Matt 21:5). He said of Himself,
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)
He was wonderfully gentle with the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, and with Simon Peter both before and after he had betrayed Jesus. On the cross He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
When Paul wrote to the Philippians he highlighted the source of true gentleness – it was because of God, His power, love and salvation and the fact that He is always so very close to us.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” ( Philippians 4:4-5)
To be gentle we need to allow the love of God to be poured into us and lift us above a concentrated focus upon ourselves – and to look instead at those around us, hearing the silent screams that come from so many lives. Gentleness is of the Spirit, and another segment of the fruit that God wishes to see in our lives.
Did I bruise anyone today – by action or inaction?
Father, I know how easily I can be hurt – please help me to be a comfort and a blessing to those who need it today – in Jesus name. Amen.