“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 NKJV
Gently the clouds settle into the valley as Pilot Mountain rises above.
We are nearing the end of our fruits of the spirit series. If I ever consider such a long series in the future, someone please stop and remind me of this nine-week series! I have enjoyed it, but it has been too long on one verse.
When I think of gentleness, I see a new mom or dad holding their baby. The soft voices extolling the wonders of God and His gift, their baby. The delicate touches to discern tiny fingers and wiggling toes and a downy head. Heads bent low to take in the distinctive baby scent. Ears tuned to hear the first gurgles and coos.
As children of God, we can hear our Holy Father gently speaking to us in the soft breezes that caress our faces on a sunny day. He softly touches our hearts with a glorious sunrise or a glistening rainbow. His ear is turned toward us to hear our heart-felt praises and our anxious prayers. He is with us always and gently draws us closer to Him. We are His creation, and He tenderly cares for us.
Because our heavenly Father is so gentle with us, we, in turn, can reflect the Father to all those around us by our gentleness. “Let your gentleness be know to all men. The Lord is at hand.” Philippians 4:5 But one of our greatest examples of gentleness is Jesus. Jesus treated people with compassion and gentleness. He took time to listen to people and care for their needs. One of my favorite stories is the woman in the crowd who just wanted to get close enough to touch His garment in order to be healed. He felt her touch and healing and when He had identified her, He said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” Mark 5:34 Jesus not only healed her issue, but He acknowledged her strong faith and sent her away in peace. He was gentle.
The last verse about gentleness I want to share with you is in I Peter. In the context of the chapter, he is actually talking about wives and marital relationships. But I think this verse should apply to all of us as we strive to demonstrate gentleness to others. “rather let it (your adornment) be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” I Peter 3:4 We realize that all of the fruits of the spirit are God-given gifts which start in our hearts and are expressed outwardly toward others. A gentle spirit, with the love and the strength of the Lord behind it, is a strong and beautiful witness of all God has done for us.
OK, I wasn’t going to put this in, but this verse helps me when I am dealing with particularly harsh people. “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the Lord will reward you.” Proverbs 25:21-22 (This quote from Proverbs is also repeated in Romans 12 when Paul is reminding us to live peaceably with everyone.) So…this does not sound very “gentle” in our discussion on gentleness, but it does give me the added incentive and strength (Thank You, Lord!) to be kind and gentle with those who are not!
This week reflect God with a gentle, confident, and quiet spirit in all your interactions. Some will be easier than others! It is the difficult, abrasive people that require more effort on our part, but let our hearts display our outward adornment of gentleness.
I thank God for each of you! And I thank you for joining me for another week of the fruits of the spirit, gentleness. Go in peace!