Posted by: Jo | February 17, 2017

A Spirit Of Gentleness

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

(Ephesians 4: 2)

We have had the joy this week of minding our little six month old, gentleness01granddaughter for a few hours, and we love the way she now sits up on the floor and if we surround her with lots of toys, she reaches out to grab them and proceeds to wack all of them with wild abandon. Those flailing little arms need to be avoided if you are holding her, to make sure eye glasses don’t land on the floor, so I was very surprised when she fell asleep on my lap and when she woke, reached out one little hand and very softly began to stroke my face.  The gentleness of her touch was in stark contrast to how she played with her toys.

Gentle, is another one of those words that sound like its meaning and it is interesting to read that Paul emphasised the importance of portraying this beautiful characteristic in our Christian walk;

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4: 5)

On the world stage there is not much evidence of gentle behaviour, as we listen to political opponents gentleness02attack each other with harsh words which only achieve a response of equally harsh, aggressive words in return. I was thinking while listening to one of these tirades that it was a pity they weren’t aware of the wisdom in the book of Proverbs;

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15: 1)

Our model of gentleness is Jesus himself, who instead of dealing harshly with us when we wander away from him and forget to keep his commands, gently forgives us as he himself, because of becoming one of us, can understand the temptations we go through;

“He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.” (Hebrews 5: 2)

gentleness03So too can we gently forgive others when we remember how gently Jesus deals with us.

One of the favourite verses that many Christians love, myself included, is the list of the fruit of the Holy Spirit,(Galatians 5: 22), but I feel we have to first study the opposite of this verse (Galatians 5: 19- 21), before we can allow that precious fruit to flourish and grow in our lives. Gentleness is one of the powerful fruits the Holy Spirit gives us, but first look what Paul warns us about in verse Galatians 5: 20

hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, dissensions, factions, envy.

Just by turning on the evening news we will view examples of nearly all of these. Even in our church communities, sadly, we can experience dissensions, discord, factions, but a spirit of gentleness can dilute many problems, we must choose to use this beautiful gift when confronted by any examples of the above.

Reminding ourselves that all the fruits of the Holy Spirit are gifts, helps us to be confident to use them, we don’t have to work hard to avail ourselves of them, we can just graciously accept them.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5: 22 – 23)

 

 

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Responses

  1. Proverbs 15:1 is just so very true. Thank you Jo for your gentle words.

    Liked by 1 person


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