“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
The clouds are settling gently into the valleys, but you can still see Pilot Mountain above them.
This week we are going to talk about the eighth “fruit of the spirit” – gentleness. Remember that the fruits of the spirit are character traits that help us to become more like Jesus. In this Bible verse, Jesus tells us about himself. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29
Let’s take a closer look at parts of this verse to understand it better. Let’s start with the word “yoke”. A yoke was a large piece of wood that was used to connect two animals to work side by side with each other. These two oxen are yoked together so that they can do more work and help each other. When Jesus asks us to take up His yoke, He is telling us that He will be beside us and help us and work with us so that we can learn about Him and become more like Him.
In the next part, Jesus actually tells us that He is “gentle and lowly in heart”. Gentle means kind or tender. You might gently pick a flower to keep from breaking the stem. Jesus was kind and tender as He met people. Some were hurting or sick, but Jesus treated each one gently. Jesus was also lowly or humble. This means that Jesus treated others like they were important and valuable, better than Himself.
My favorite story in the Bible about Jesus’ gentleness is in the book of John. The Pharisees (leaders in Jesus time) brought a woman to Jesus who had been caught in a sin. The law said that she should be stoned. But Jesus was kind and gentle with her. He quietly suggested that whoever was without sin should throw the first stone. Slowly everyone left, because no one is without sin (except Jesus!). After all had left, Jesus told the woman that He did not accuse her either and to “go and sin no more.”
Now, it is time to apply gentleness in our own lives so that we can become more like Jesus. Do you sometimes yell at people? Do you ever speak meanly to people? Do you ignore people you don’t really like? Do you try to make other people feel bad? It’s hard to look at ourselves sometimes, because we don’t always like what we see. Jesus even told us to be kind and gentle to our enemies!
This week I want you to pick two people that you could be gentler with. Maybe you could help someone with a chore without being asked. Maybe you could speak kind words to someone. Maybe you could encourage someone to do something new. These are just a few ideas. You decide. But what I really want you to realize is that when we are gentler with people, they are usually gentler with us, too!
Don’t forget to share with your parents how you chose to be gentler this week. Blessings of gentleness and humbleness as you become more like Jesus! Remember, He is “yoked” with you always.