Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fruit of the Spirit - GENTLENESS

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, GENTLENESS and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22 & 23

This is the eighth of a nine part series I call "Spiritual Fruit of the Month Club". Have you ever seen or received a gift where you are entered into a club and once a month you are sent a box of fruit - a different kind of fruit each month? Well, that is what we will be doing here - on the first Sunday of each month for nine months I will be sending you a digital box of Spiritual Fruit. We will study and try to use that fruit in our daily lives for that month.

When I first started studying the "Fruits of the Spirit" I thought that "kindness" and "gentleness" were the same thing.  There is a difference - gentleness is meek, humble, mild and calm whereas kindness (as we learned 3 weeks ago) is compassion, sympathy, thoughtfulness, consideration, helpfulness and charity.  The opposite of gentle is harsh whereas the opposite of kind is cruel.  So you see there is a difference.

"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

In this fast paced and stressful world that we live in I often think that we don't even know what rest is anymore.  We need to learn from Jesus' example and if we do we will "find rest for our souls." 

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."  Proverbs 15:1

I struggle with gentleness - There have been  times in my life when unbeknownst to me my words offended someone (I DON'T swear - that's not what I mean).  Without even realizing it I can be very harsh - I'm the firstborn child in my family & with that comes bossiness but I also try to rush through things and in so doing I lose the gentleness that is necessary to live a Christian life. I have been floored when others have confronted me with things that I have said because I never meant them that way (and then I of course apologize) - in my haste the message of what I say is often the opposite of what I mean.  The verse below explains that patience is part of being gentle.

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."  Ephesians 4:2

"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.  But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted."  Galatians 6:1

I am amazed how many of my Christian friends/family are able to confront someone of their wrongdoing without putting that person on the defensive - it's gentleness.  Confrontation with gentleness can be the difference between repentance and continued sin.

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of that slander."  1 Peter 3:15 & 16

We need to be prepared to respond to everyone with gentleness - strangers, family members, friends and enemies.  I love the last part of the verse above - "with our good behavior and clear conscience" - others will be ashamed when they mock us or gossip about us.  This is a stereotype (a positive stereotype) but I am reminded of the British people - they always seem to respond to anyone in a reserved and polite manner.  They are able to stay calm (without yelling) and respectfully put offenders in their place.

"Let your gentleness be evident to all." Philippians 4:5

Our gentleness comes from within - from the Holy Spirit - let's make sure that we draw from that on a daily basis so that Jesus' love will shine through our actions and our words.

Let's strive to work on being gentle in every area of our lives.  What will you do with your box of Gentleness this month?


  1. Excited to be your newest follower! Love following some Jesus lovers!! Haha. Found ya from the blog hop. About to check out some recipes I saw on your page :) whoop whoop!!

  2. What a wonderful blog!!! I have added you to my blog list and will be perusing your blog as often as I can!!

  3. love these tips!


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