Gentleness – Fruit of the Spirit
What does the world think about gentleness? It’s just weakness – if you want to get anywhere you need to be tough. Paul talks about being completely humble and gentle – this would have been a completely foreign concept in his day and is much the same in ours.
What is our essential character like?
Gentleness is the character of Christ.
If he wasn’t gentle we couldn’t come to him.
And we are to learn from him – including learning gentleness!
Paul learnt it – see 2 Cor 10v1, and his reference to gentleness in 1 Cor 4v21
We also find in 1 Peter 3v4 that wives are commanded to be gentle at heart as well – but we know from Jesus that this isn’t restricted to wives!
Read Proverbs 15v1.
Again this is how God deals with us – think of his meeting with Elijah in 1Kings 19 There are many examples all through the Bible of how we should speak gently to others – here are some starters:
- 1 Samuel 25 – Nabal and Abigail
- 1 Kings 12 – Rehoboam’s counsellors
- Acts 18v24-28 – Aquila and Priscilla
- 2 Tim 2v23-26 – when correcting others’ doctrine
- Gal 6v1 – when correcting others’ behaviour
- 1 Peter 3v15-16 – when answering those who don’t believe and witnessing to them
Acting in gentleness
We should be thinking of our weaker brothers and sisters, and being careful not to harm them, as Paul discusses when he is considering laws around food and how we should treat them. While what we do may be acceptable we are to think of how it affects others. Because, again, this is how God acts towards us: Matt 12v18-21 It is not weakness, but gentleness.
And that is the way to blessing: Matt 5v5, Psalm 37v11