The fruits of the Spirit are something that I realised – just like fruit – needs to be grown in our lives. This isn’t instant transformation or something that appears in our lives once we give our lives to the Lord, but more, the fruits develop through a lifetime of cultivating and pruning with the Holy Spirit.
Gentleness is something, that again, I struggled with for many years. My “Before Christ” days were anything but gentle because I was raised to show emotion or gentleness was a weakness. Strength and brashness meant that I had no issues “walking” over people. I was taught that if people were in the way, then step on them to get where you needed to go.
Yet, God challenged my thinking very early on into my walk with Him, and when I look back now, I realise that gentleness was one of the fruits that would take the longest to cultivate. When I think of apostle Paul, he was an incredible individual who showed others great gentleness in the midst of being strong. Think of how he treated others when they would often fail. In 1 Thessalonians 2:7, it shows Paul’s mindset with being as gentle as a Mother with her child, and ultimately, for me, this is where God began to change my attitude.
Often we believe that gentleness is a weakness. Yet, I have come to learn that gentleness is a strong hand with a soft touch. Gentleness is having a tender, compassionate approach towards other people’s weaknesses or limitations. That doesn’t mean that a gentle person doesn’t speak the truth – sometimes those truths can be a painful one – but someone with gentleness guards their tone so then the truth can be heard into the other persons’ Spirit.
For me, I think about Sarai, as a little girl trying to squeeze my hand tightly, yet, her strength did not hurt me – although, in her game, she tried. It was because she did not need to be gentle. After all, she lacked the power to cause me pain at the time. Then it was my turn, and I would squeeze her hand until she made a laughing yelp.
We need to remember that it is a strong hand – not a weak one – that needs to learn to be gentle.
“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”Philippians 4:5
Categories: Fruits of the Spirit