Today we are continuing to look at the Fruit of the Spirit, as found in Galatians 5: 22-26:
22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24 And those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.
Gentleness is a wonderful word and a wonderful concept for us to seek to live out. I hope you find it ironic that so many of the fruit of spirit does not seem to be things that are abundant in our world today. We don’t find gentleness around. We find a bunch of cruelty and meanness but not a lot of gentleness.
Gentleness is a word that may feel good to us. “Gentle”man, for instance. It seems to be a good thing. But what is it exactly? What is to be understood by this concept? Well, the best way to understand what it means to be gentle is to understand another word that this word means: meek.
Gentleness is meekness. Remember what Jesus said in the Beatitudes? The meek shall inherit the earth. To be gentle, to be meek is not to be weak or frail, but it is to be strong. To be meek is not having passion or strength or even anger, but it is to be passionate, and strong, and even angry at the right things.
To be meek is to draw the right line in the sand. To be meek is to pick the right stands, the right “fights,” and the right things to care about. It is to value people, to value the image of God, and to value the worth of God in other people.
It is to understand the beauty of life and live accordingly. You can be gentle with people when you understand their worth. You can be gentle with yourself when you understand your worth. You can be gentle with life when you understand the sacredness and value of all things.
When you understand the concept of worth in yourself, others, and the world, you will be gentle. When you approach all of life with that concept of worth, you live a spirit of gentleness.
And the Spirit will form that within us. When we root ourselves in the Holy Spirit, we see the beauty in all of life, in ourselves, and in others. Wonder abounds. And if wonder abounds, gentleness abounds.
Today, may we approach all of life in this manner.
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