The fruit of the Spirit includes gentleness. Likewise, gentleness is often misunderstood as a sign of weakness. However, it is a powerful form of strength. By looking at the fruit of the Spirit—gentleness—as described in the Bible, we can see how it goes hand-in-hand with Paul’s description of this fruit to the church (Galatians 5:22-23).
To begin, let’s review
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Little Pot is a fruit-bearing vessel created by the potter. It is given the privilege of growing fruit. You can find the full story here. The allegory mirrors the relationship that we have with our creator. We are also vessels created to bear fruit. The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is the substance God grows through us when we allow Him to work in our lives. The verses in Galatians describe this fruit with nine words. Therefore, we studied love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness in the previous weeks. This week, we will examine what Paul meant by labeling the fruit with gentleness. It takes the strength of God to be truly gentle.
Understanding true gentleness
To understand gentleness fully, we must look to the Bible, which defines it as “Sensitivity of disposition and kindness of behavior, founded on strength and prompted by love. “We see this exemplified with characters like Job, who endured intense suffering throughout his life yet still responded with humility and understanding. True gentleness is about having a soft heart even amid difficult circumstances—not giving in to feelings of anger, frustration, or bitterness but recognizing our human weakness before God.
It takes the Strength of God to be gentle.
We know that it is God who produces the fruit. Therefore, it is essential to remember that being gentle goes against our instinct. For example, when someone accuses us of wrong, our instinct is to immediately defend ourselves with a tone or words that do not come across as gentle. Likewise, when disrespected, we will likely respond with an ungentle spirit. Only through God’s strength can we defend ourselves and gain respect with gentleness. Here are three things that require God’s power and will cultivate gentleness.
The fruit of the Spirit is gentleness – Put others before you.
One of the main characteristics of a gentle spirit is selflessness. Being gentle doesn’t mean shying away from difficult conversations or compromising your convictions, but rather cherishing and honoring others by repeatedly placing their needs before yours. Having a gentle spirit doesn’t mean avoiding confrontation; it encourages it. It’s about seeing the perspective that your attitude will have on those around you, speaking with care and integrity, not just power and aggression.
The fruit of the Spirit is gentleness – Speak kindly and respectfully to others.
An essential part of gentleness is speaking with kindness. Being able to express yourself without belittling others or resorting to aggressive tones shows how strong and confident you are in your character. Instead, use your words thoughtfully and communicate by practicing grace and humility. Speak humbly, using a soft and calming tone, even when tough conversations arise. Respect the feelings of others and take the time to listen as they share their story – it can go a long way!
The fruit of the Spirit is gentleness – Practice forgiveness with those who hurt you.
Practicing forgiveness is not an easy task, but it’s crucial to cultivate gentleness within the fruit of the Spirit. It’s easy to hold on to grudges and hurt feelings, but it takes courage, strength, and trust in God to move past those feelings and forgive others who may have wronged you. Take the time to reflect on how you would want to be forgiven if the roles were reversed in a given situation – spending time with God, reading the Bible, and asking Him for strength will start this process of forgiveness.
Gentleness and the fruit of the Spirit
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness can grow if we are gentle in our words and actions.
While God’s Spirit is what will produce this fruit, it requires our surrender and participation. Our lives can cultivate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Consequently, understanding how to become fruit-bearing vessels is a God-sized calling and one of the most important things we do as followers of Christ. Likewise, I’ve seen how God produces the fruit Spirit, and I’ve explained the process in seven steps. I have used these steps with children, teachers, and parents. It includes the three areas of spiritual, social, and academic growth. In these areas, you’ll become a fruit-bearing vessel.
If you join me on this fruit-bearing journey, we will see how God works in our lives and with others around us. In addition, you’ll receive a short, fruitful Friday email each week. Just type in your email address and name below.
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