fruits, gentleness, harsh, Jesus, take the challenge, weakness
This week we are challenging ourselves in the fruit of Gentleness. Gentleness is one of those fruits that we don’t talk a lot about simply because we tend to think of it as a part of love but not so much as a fruit by itself. So let’s look at gentleness.
According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary gentleness comes from two words epi, “unto” and eikos, “likely,” it denotes “seemly, fitting”; hence equitable, fair, moderate, forbearing not insisting on the letter of the law; it expresses that considerateness that looks humanely and reasonably at the facts of a case. In other words, gentleness takes into consideration another’s inabilities and weaknesses. Christ is gentle with us because He knows our inabilities and weaknesses. Hebrews 2:17-18 says, “Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.”
While you may not be able to relate to a person on every level Christ can because He’s experienced it and conquered it. And when we look at Christ we know that if it were not for His grace it could be and would be us. For example, if you’ve never been an alcoholic it might be hard for you to relate to the struggles someone with an addictive habit might have it might be hard for you to sympathize and have that gentleness that looks humanely and reasonably at the facts of their case. But when you look at them through the eyes of Christ you can consider humanely and reasonably the facts of their case and remember that you too are but flesh. Psalms 78:39 says, “But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not; yea, many a time turned He His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath. For He remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.”
The Holy Spirit is always producing in us the fruit of gentleness we simply need to allow it to flow through us. Our natural gentleness is not enough; it’s limited to our experiences whereas Christ has experienced everything man would ever experience and can relate to man’s weaknesses.
Paul says this in I Thessalonians 2:7-8, “But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children; so being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.” This kind of gentleness could only be from God. This is what the Holy Spirit produces in us gentleness that looks beyond one another’s faults and meets the need.
I challenge you this week not to strive to be gentle in your own might but as a branch on the vine allow the Holy Spirit to flow through you unto others the gentleness of Jesus Christ.