The fruit of the Spirit is essentially the character of Jesus. The quality of gentleness is the opposite of harshness with others. It is power over one’s Spirit that exudes a meek and mild person like Jesus.
What comes to your mind when you think of gentleness?
A common misconception is that gentleness is weakness or passivity. True gentleness, however, is just the opposite. It requires great strength and self-control.
Gentleness comes from a state of humility. Therefore, someone who lacks gentleness is often prideful and easily angered, or feels the need for revenge.
In order to be gentle, we must not view ourselves as better than someone else. Rather than asserting superiority, someone who is gentle wants to help others, even when they have been done wrong.
An example of gentleness can be seen in John 8, when the Pharisees bring a woman who was caught in adultery to Jesus. The Pharisees told Jesus that the Law of Moses commanded them to stone such a woman, to which Jesus responds, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7).
After everyone left, Jesus did not condemn the woman, and said to her, “Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11).
Just like how Jesus was gentle with the woman in this story, God is gentle with us. Even in our sin, He continues to love us. He does not keep record of our wrongs, but offers forgiveness if we come to Him.
God wants us to be gentle to others. Matthew 6:14-15 says, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
A gentle heart comes from having love for others. This is shown in our thoughts and in the way we interact with those around us.
So how do we grow in our gentleness?
It is important to have an accurate perception of what gentleness is. It should not be seen as a weakness, but rather as a strength. When we see it this way, we can begin to work toward becoming gentler.
In addition, it is important to acknowledge the ways in which God is gentle with us. He is the Creator of the universe, yet He is still gentle and loving toward us despite our sinful nature.
Finally, we can incorporate gentleness into our own lives. Through prayer, we can ask God to give us a spirit of gentleness and take away any feelings of self-righteousness. We can ask Him to reveal ways we can show gentleness to others so that we may reflect His character.
Father, I am so rough with my life and speech sometimes. Unkindness toward others can mark me. But you, Lord, tend your people like a shepherd gathers lambs into his arms. Help me communicate and lead others with a “gentle hand” and a “soft touch. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Gentle Like a Shepherd
“He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.” – Isaiah 40:11
Lord, I know the fruit of Spirit is gentleness, but I get so moody sometimes. My commitments to be more controlled seem so fleeting and far from gentle. Help me organize my thoughts and control my tongue to be a joy to be around. Lord, you embodied the ultimate in gentleness, so help me to be like you today. In your name, amen.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” – Galatians 5:22-23
Father, I feel like a bucket of nerves today. Please help me to take your yoke upon me, instead of my temptation to achieve and impress, which makes me even more anxious. Lord, you are gentle and invite me to find rest for my soul in you, for your burden is light. Lighten my load and make me calmer and less anxious. Amen.
The Gentle load of God
“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” – Matt. 11:29
Father, it is so easy for me to judge and see the specks in others’ eyes while I am blind to my own. Help me deal with my own issues first, and then seek to restore others with a gentle spirit instead of a spirit of judgment. Allow me to avoid being tempted by judging others so that I might be gracious to others like Jesus. Amen.
Restore in a Spirit of Gentleness
“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” – Galatians 6:1
Father, I find myself so easily pulled to the allures of the world. At times, I feel they have attached to my character. Help me to leave them quickly. Allow me as your beloved child to put on a heart of compassion, gentleness, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. I want to be like you, Jesus, and not the world. In your name, amen.
Put on a Heart of Gentleness
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” – Colossians 3:12
Lord, I get so confused and feel the hurts of life. I need your direction and guidance and not my feelings that bounce like a yo-yo. Thank you that your wisdom is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. I need all of you, Jesus. Help me live with that gentle wisdom today. Amen.
The Gentle Wisdom of God
“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” – James 3:17–18
Father, it feels so natural to be harsh with people who are impolite and even rude. It is easy to criticize others when others criticize me. Help me, Lord, to be different though my emotions say otherwise. I want to be like Jesus, who did not revile others when He was mocked. Whether kind or rude, help me to be gentle among others, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. Amen.
From Harshness to Gentleness
“As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands of you, but instead we were like children among you. Or we were like a mother feeding and caring for her own children.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:7
Father, I confess how easy it is to be harsh to my boss and leaders, especially when they are not gentle with me. It is so natural to be unkind, instead of overlooking, critical instead of teachable, bitter instead of becoming better. Forgive me, Lord. Help me be subject to my employers with all respect…not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. Amen.
Gentle, even to those who are Unjust to me.
“Respect everyone and love the family of believers. Fear God and respect the king.” – 1 Peter 2:17
May the Lord help us to be gracious and merciful unto others, as He has been unto us
**By K-Love pastors / GCU. edu Lauren Abraham / Photo by Vassu Chandu from Pexels