Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. [Ephesians 4:2]
Gentleness. When I think of what it means, I think my mind simultaneously goes in two different directions. First, I think of kindness, sweetness, easygoing-ness (I know that’s not a word, but track with me!!). But on the other hand, I almost have this impression of meekness and weakness.
And when I think these things, I have to realize that that gentleness is not weakness at all. It’s actually kindness, sweetness, easygoing-ness and all those things but backed with the absolute power of God.
What does that mean?
Looking through the Word, you will often see gentleness paired with conviction. What I mean by that is when someone has sinned, where God could meet them with wrath and anger, He instead chooses to meet them in love and kindness.
This is the gentle heart of God. When we disobey Him or go against His best for us, instead of lashing out in anger, God chooses to correct in gentleness. He chooses to convict us in gentleness. This is so powerful because this is the love of God in action. This is where God has the right to turn against us, but chooses to lean in, be a helper, and call us higher. In gentleness we see grace abound and mercy come to life; and because He is gentle, we get to go from glory to the next glory. Gentleness is not weak; rather, it is powerful beyond measure!
What does this mean as a fruit of the Spirit?
Basically the fruits of the Spirit just are how we see God come alive in us. So, how does this apply to gentleness? In Ephesians, we see gentleness grouped with humbleness, patience and love. This means that when we have been wronged, we still respond in patience instead of losing our temper. This means that even when we have every right to be angry with someone, we humble ourselves and actively love them even if it is hard. It’s giving undeserving grace and mercy to those around us because that’s what God does for us.
And what I love about this is that the world may tell us that responding to people hurting us in these ways of gentleness is weak. But it is actually so powerful because we are partnering with God in His heart for others. By loving people in this way, we get to call them higher and into that next degree of glory that God has for them. In gentleness, we are able to extend the hands and feet and heart of God to others. And that is really powerful.
Hey God. Thank You for the ways that You are so gentle with me and with those around me. Lord, I pray that You will just begin to reveal more and more what gentleness means. I ask that when I have opportunities to be gentle with those around me, that I take them instead of acting in anger. Please give me a new revelation of the power that is within gentleness. God, You are awesome, and I love You. Amen.