Fruit of the Spirit – Gentleness

Today’s guest blog by Debra gets real … does God confront you where you live? Are you vulnerable to his correction?

I need to confess that some of the delay in writing more from Galatians 5:22-23, was that I had an interaction with a non-paying customer at our car wash a few nights ago that made me realize that the Holy Spirit still has a great deal of work to do in my heart.  I have to admit that there was no “fruit” on my “tree” that evening.  I reacted and became angry, and I had to repent to the Lord and ask His forgiveness.  I am so grateful for His mercy and grace!

As I said in the beginning, these challenges are as much for me as for anybody.

Today’s word is Gentleness.  A few of the definitions:  kindly; amiable; mild; moderate; not severe, rough or violent.

Do you have anyone that comes to mind when you hear this word?  I have a teacher at the preschool I used to work at that comes to my mind.  He is so calm and gentle with the children, even when they are being very challenging.  His temperament is always the same, and yet he gets their respect and their attention.  He truly is a picture of Jesus to them.  I really admire him and how he allows God to work through him!

Let’s read some verses on gentleness.

Our first verses refer to our speech and tone of voice.  When we are dealing with an opposing view, or when we are sharing the gospel with people, our words need to be gentle and respectful.

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

1 Peter 4:15  “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.  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.”

Jesus gave us a great example to follow in living a life of gentleness and humility.  Although, there was that one episode in the temple, where He was so angry about His Father’s house being turned into a marketplace where people were being cheated.  NOT gentle then!  But here in Matthew, He describes Himself in ways that help me trust Him to take my burdens.  I love reading this verse.  It definitely gives me a sense of peace and rest.

Matthew 11:28-29  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  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.”

The rest of these verses are all about how other people see us and how we represent our heavenly Father.  I need to be reminded that we are His representatives, and when people see us we are supposed to look and sound like Jesus.  Wow!  That is quite a big responsibility!

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

1 Peter 3:3-4  “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.  Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”  (this is specifically for women)

Philippians 4:5  “Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.”

Colossians 3:12  “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

I am praying that as we read these verses, that we are going to choose today (and tomorrow and the next day, etc.) to clothe ourselves with gentleness and kindness.  Will the people who live in our homes hear gentleness in our voices?  Will our words to them be encouraging and loving?  Will our children and spouses know they can tell us anything, and our response will be words like Jesus would say to them?

Will we be known as having a gentle and quiet spirit?  Will we be known to have humility and compassion?  Will our gentleness be evident to all?

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