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Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Gentleness is the fifth of the nine fruits of the Spirit. It isn’t mentioned very much in Bible; the words “gentle” and “gentleness” only appear nine times. However, it is an important fruit.

The definition of gentle is:

Mild; meek; soft; bland; not rough, harsh or severe

Tame; peaceable; not wild, turbulent or refractory

Soothing; pacific

Treating with mildness; not violent.

Once we have the fruit of longsuffering in our lives, gentleness can begin to grow. As seen from the definition, someone who is gentle in spirit is meek and peaceable. It is the ability to control anger and passions. Someone who is gentle will not have outbursts of anger or violence, but rather can be trusted to stay calm.

A violent and angry man is the opposite of a gentle one. Someone who doesn’t control their anger is unpredictable. You never know what something you might say or do will set them off. They don’t think about who is around them, and often accidentally cause pain to those they love. No one likes to be around an angry person, nor do they feel safe around them.

However, someone who is gentle controls themselves. They keep calm and are aware of those around them. A gentle person is trustworthy. Think about it, who would you rather leave your child with: an angry person or a gentle person? If someone has proved themselves gentle, you feel a lot safer around them, don’t you?

Gentleness is also important for your testimony and witnessing. People are more comfortable around a gentle person. An angry person tends to be avoided. If you try to witness to a coworker or friend, and you’re known to have anger outbursts from time to time, you are going to have a lot harder time getting them to listen. However, if you’ve been gentle and peaceable, others will automatically feel safe and will be more apt to listen. As Matthew 10:16 says,

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

A gentle person is harmless; an angry person isn’t. The greatest example for gentleness is Christ himself. When he walked on this earth, he was kind and compassionate. He never beat on his disciples, nor shunned those who needed his help. Often, the Bible states that Jesus had compassion for those around him. When people followed him all over, he never yelled at them to leave him alone. He was gentle and kind, taking time for the sick, maimed, old, and young. No one was afraid of him, for they knew he was gentle.

Remember this when someone starts to annoy you. Remember to be gentle and not lash out. You could lose your testimony if you react violently. Remember to be gentle, not striving with those around you. Remember to bear this fruit.

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