The Fruit of Gentleness

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, NIV).

“It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from within you-the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit that will never be destroyed and is very precious to God” (1 Peter 3:3-4, NCV).

“Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The teaching that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, NCV).

There is a direct correlation between walking in the fruit of gentleness and finding real rest. The more you develop gentleness the more rest and inner peace you will enjoy. Don’t bother trying to manufacture peace without first developing gentleness in your inner man.

Gentleness is to be even tempered, tranquil, balanced in spirit, humble in spirit. It means to, like Moses, possess power and strength with control. This individual will have passions that are under control. It is not weakness, but force handled responsibly. The gentle person knows when to react and how to react. The Greek indicates that it’s like a wild animal that has been tamed or a racehorse that has been disciplined to do exactly what the rider commands.

The development of gentleness in your life will prevent strife (Proverbs 15:11), increase your peace (Psalm 37:11), help you access God’s guidance (Psalm 25:9), increase your joy (Isaiah 29:19), stir revival in your heart (Isaiah 57:15), and mark you for favor and promotion (1 Peter 5:5-6).

One of the hardest things to do as a believer is to remain gentle when someone is always trying to push your buttons. When that person comes around I want to encourage you to: (1) Keep your mouth shut and do not react. Button pushers often criticize and attack out of their own insecurity and jealousy. Gentleness will enable you to remain quiet and not get in the way of God’s solution; (2) Let the Lord defend you to the button pusher. We don’t always realize it but every time you are unfairly attacked, God is aware of it and as a covenant keeping God will help if you will keep your big mouth out of it. I love that Scripture that says, “When a man’s ways are pleasing to God are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7); and (3) Pray for the welfare of the person. Only a truly meek and gentle person would pray for restoration for that person (instead of for vindication). Remember the promise of Scripture for the truly gentle believer: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth”