22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.
The eight attribute of the fruit of the Spirit is gentleness.
The Greek word for gentleness is praotēs which means “temperate, measured”. It is closely linked to being magnanimous and forgiving. Gentleness is not a weakness but a strength. It is having the ability to act with restraint when one possesses much power, dominance and authority. This explains why God often shows grace towards us when we least deserve it.
While God could have dealt with us according to our sin and repaid us for our wrongdoings, He did not. Instead, God provided us with the way of salvation through Christ.
Just as God is gentle with us, He wants us to be gentle with our words and actions.
We are to be like Jesus. When Jesus was on earth, He modelled for us how to have an attitude of gentleness and how to act gently. Though Jesus was sovereign over everything, he became a servant under all. Here our Lord shows us it takes someone who is truly secure in himself to do things that are socially beneath their status or dignity, and take on the role of a servant. In other words, one needs to have real character and true strength to be gentle. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in to help us and accomplish for us what we can never do on our own.
When we walk with the Spirit, He will transform us to produce the fruit that reflects a supernatural relationship with God. Too often when someone hurts us, our usual response is to hurt them back. However, when we are willing to rest in the Spirit, we can turn the other cheek and do good to those who seek our harm.
When we ourselves find grace in Christ, we can then offer grace and mercy to others instead of retaliation and revenge. This is because we have nothing to lose when God dwells fully in your heart. Whenever you do struggle, keep your eyes on Christ and your heart on His perfect love and you will manifest the fruit He desires from you.
How have I depended on the Holy Spirit to show greater gentleness with my words and in my actions?
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.