This week I’m continuing a blog series on the fruit of the Spirit. I’m excited about this series and I’m believing God that we continue to be FRUITFUL! So this week let’s talk about The Fruit of the Spirit – Gentleness.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
-Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
I was raised in a way to open doors for others, to say, “Yes ma’am” and ” No sir” to my elders, basically with the overall sense of being a gentleman. Now gentleness isn’t being feminine or soft but it has way more to do with being strong than anything else. Gentleness is very similar to goodness. The goodness that the Holy Spirit plants in us and it grows as a fruit is then expressed through gentleness. Gentleness is the action of goodness. Being gentle has more of a correlation with meekness. My youth pastor taught me way back in the day that “meekness isn’t weakness”. Meekness is strength under control. It’s having the power to crush something or somebody but instead you strengthen them through love and encouragement.
Being a gentle person might have the picture of someone skipping through the dandelions whistling along without a care in the world. Maybe, but true gentleness and true spiritual fruit is when someone has wronged you and you have the ability to speak harshly ABOUT them but you don’t. Instead you speak to them and love them in order that God may be glorified and their purpose may be fulfilled. This is meekness, this is true spiritual fruit! I long for the day when Christians stop hurting other Christians and actually do what the bible says!
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. -Galatians 6:1 NIV
The scripture uses the word “gently” on purpose. It’s the same word that correlates to “meekness” so it means that even those who have screwed up do not get slammed! The bible is written for us to understand that God has a path and plan to restoration and complete fullness but it comes through the fruit of the Spirit, more specifically through being a gentle person. Gentleness is such an underestimated source of power that can overcome almost any bad situation. The reason we don’t operate in gentleness is because it takes humility. Being humble and gentle go hand in hand. I’ve never seen a gentle person with a big ego.
This week you will be presented with the opportunity to lash out and crush someone. But take a moment, take a deep breath, and be gentle. This is having your strength under control.