Galatians 5:22, 23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
As we study the fruit of the Spirit, one cannot imagine a better example than Christ Himself. From His birth to His death and resurrection we observe the fruit of the Spirit naturally flowing out from His life to everyone who crossed His path. Gentleness is possibly my favorite characteristic of our Lord Jesus. No doubt, Paul himself must have held this characteristic in high regard after experiencing the Lord’s mercy on the road to Damascus (Acts chapter 9). Gentleness encompassed the life of Paul, and likewise, should be at the core of our hearts and flow into the lives of all we know.
Gentleness may be compared to the way you might play with a puppy dog. While you posses total superiority in strength, and many of us in intelligence, a certain care is taken while playing with the puppy. As we are approached by those around us, whether in need of assistance or with hatred and bitterness, we also should be examples of our Lord in exercising gentleness.
When remembering the life of Jesus, one cannot pass over His many encounters with those that needed genuine care. With understanding and love the Lord healed the sick, raised the dead, and cast out demons. His gentleness led Him to care for those that needed Him the most. Here was the Creator of the universe in human flesh. How did He desire to spend His time? Not in grandeur or might as one would expect of a king, but among the sick, the poor, and the “lowly in spirit.” This is the fruit of a gentle spirit. In the same manner, Paul instructs us as believers to live our lives with a gentle concern for those around us. We are to show compassion and patience to all we meet. Ephesians 4:2 says that we have been called to walk with “all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love…”
In as much as His ministry was to the weak, it was also to those who hated and despised Him. As children of God we can glean more about gentleness from these stories than possibly anywhere else. Jesus Christ, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, was mocked, beaten, and killed by those He came to save. In all of this, being both stronger and wiser, He showed total gentleness to those that hated Him. In his letters to the first century churches, Paul stresses the importance of imitating Christ in this manner. We are to be gentle in responding to those that are “out to get us.” A gentle spirit is commanded of us when we rebuke or teach others. A spirit of hatred or revenge is not of the Lord, but of the devil. As Christians, we need to follow Jesus’ example in correcting the worldly issues we encounter with a spirit of gentleness. 2 Timothy 2:24, 25 commands us, “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth.”
As you evaluate your life, I pray that you may make it a point to show gentleness to every person you know.