“got fruit? got gentleness?”
When I think of gentleness, I think of my nieces and nephews and their parenting of my great nieces and nephews. In the days before Covid, when we freely gathered together, I was fascinated by their parenting style. Whenever one of my great nieces/nephews would touch something they were not supposed to touch, or attempt to put a finger in the face of the youngest baby, or reach for a knick-knack they shouldn’t touch, I would enthusiastically (meaning not so gently) say, “No, no, no! Don’t do that!” However, by contrast, my nieces and nephews told their children, “Gentle. Be Gentle.” What a positive and effective way to course correct as opposed to my harsh admonition, “No! Don’t do that!”
“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 emphasis added)
The eighth fruit of the Spirit is gentleness, and it is often misconceived as a weakness or passivity. However, true gentleness is just the opposite. Gentleness is the strength to be tender and it requires humility and self-control.
Many are the ways we can display gentleness towards others, however, one of the most powerful ways is with our words. There is a strong connection in the Bible between gentleness and the power of words:
“1A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger….
4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” (Proverbs 15: 1; 4)
Our soft words have the power to diffuse an angry situation. Frequently our conflicts with others have more to do with our temperaments than the issues separating us. Rather than return angry words for angry words, we would do well to respond gently. Our gentle words are like a tree which continually pours forth life through its shade and fruit. Our words have the power to do far more good than we sometimes think.
In the New Testament, Jesus comes as the perfect example of being gentle and humble of heart:
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)
The Holy Spirit can produce the fruit of gentleness in our lives if we allow Him to lead us. So how are you doing? got fruit? got gentleness? – Sheryl Vasso of Words of Worth, Inc.
Join Sheryl Vasso and Sue Weber on Wednesday mornings at Grace Point (and on Zoom) for Bible Study starting Wednesday, September 15, 2021! This autumn they are teaching “What’s In A Name?” – a Bible study on the names of God. For all the details and to register, please go to our Women’s page.