Fruits Of The Holy Spirit – Gentleness
In our previous studies of the Fruits Of The Holy Spirit, we learned about God’s supernatural Agape Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, and Faithfulness. Now we will study the next of the fruits of the Holy Spirit – Gentleness.
Fruits Of The Holy Spirit
Like many of the other fruits of the Holy Spirit, gentleness is not a natural characteristic for many people. But as Christians we are instructed and challenged to be gentle and humble when dealing with other people. When dealing with other believers, and with others who are not believers.
Gentleness, meekness, and humility does not mean that we need to idly stand by and tolerate or ignore the sins of others. We can and should take a stand against evil and sinful things, but we also should be gentle, humble, and respectful when dealing with unbelievers.
Instructed And Challenged To Be Gentle & Humble
In various places in the Bible Christians are instructed and exhorted to be gentle and humble when dealing with others. And loving and respectful. In doing so we exhibit the very life of Christ in our lives.
“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” – Colossians 3:12
“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.” – Ephesians 4:1-2
God Is The Source Of Gentleness
In the Bible you will see God dealing with His people with love, kindness, compassion, and gentleness. It is God’s nature to be loving, kind, compassionate, and gentle.
“Like a shepherd He will tend His flock. In His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.” – Isaiah 40:11
You will at times see God deal harshly with evil people. God knows the hearts of all people, and He knows whether a lost person will have a repentant heart or not. When God sees that there is someone who has a hard heart and will not repent, He tends to treat them harshly. Especially if they will do harm to His people, or lead others to stray from God. Jesus’ dealing with the religious leaders that would eventually kill Him on the cross is a good example.
But most of the time God will lovingly and patiently deal with people, even lost people. Hoping that they will repent and turn back to Him.
Jesus Displayed God’s Gentleness
Jesus was a living display of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Throughout Jesus’ life on earth he displayed God’s love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness. He encouraged and taught His disciples to be like Him.
“This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” – Matthew 21:4-5
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:29
“Taking Jesus’ yoke” means to wholly and humbly submit to Jesus and His will in your life. It means to let Jesus take control and reign in your life.
Restore Fallen Believers With Gentleness
When a Christian falls into sin and away from God, harshness and condemnation is not what is needed. God’s Word encourages us to try to restore that person in love and with gentleness. And it requires humility and depending on and trusting the Holy Spirit to touch the person’s heart. Not trying in your own power to get the person to repent and turn back to God.
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.” – Galatians 6:1
“We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:6-8
Gentleness is an important quality when serving God and helping others to grow spiritually closer to Jesus and more like Him.
Treat Lost People With Love And Gentleness
Gentleness is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit needed in order to help others to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. When sharing God’s love and the Gospel with others, we need to display God’s love and gentleness. And we need to lovingly and respectfully share the Gospel with them.
Dealing disrespectfully and harshly with others when sharing the Gospel is the worst thing you can do. When sharing the part of the Gospel about sin and the consequences of sin, we do not need to be judgmental or harsh. And we do not need to try to convict the person of sin in our own power. Only the Holy Spirit can convict a person of sin and judgement, and convince he or she to repent and turn back to God. Our part is to faithfully and lovingly & gently share the message of the Gospel, and then let God and the Holy Spirit produce the results.
“but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. And keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.” – 1 Peter 3:15-16
“The Lord’s bond-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, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” – 2 Timothy 2:24-26
“Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance ?” – Romans 2:4
In the next study we will look into the last of the fruits of the Holy Spirit – Self Control.
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This article was originally published by Kevin Bart at Pursuing Intimacy With God.