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)
Spirit Fruit: Gentleness
There are two words attached to the meaning of gentleness as a fruit of the Spirit. A spirit of meekness and humility express an attitude of mildness and indulgence toward others with patient longsuffering. The character of gentleness is the opposite of anger, wrath, or an uncontrolled spirit. Some men are born with a kinder disposition than others, but this kind of gentleness is learned from the school of the Holy Spirit. As a fruit, gentleness comes from knowing the will of the Lord to be like Jesus Christ. The Lord invited men to come to Him because He was gentle in heart desiring His disciples to have that same disposition. Throughout the life of Jesus, He exemplified a humble and meek spirit in His Father’s strength in dealing with the harsh criticism of the Jewish leaders. Facing death, the Son of God impressed on the hearts of men His firm resolve not to render anger or to revile against those killing Him; He prayed for the Father to forgive them. This came from fruit born of the Holy Spirit.
Gentleness is a much-needed trait in a world filled with hatred, prejudice, and anger. Sin does not bring peace. It always brings animosity and bitterness. Without gentleness, a spirit of revenge and pride rules the heart. The self-centered, self-aggrandizing heart seeking its own glory will never know the power of meekness and humility. Satan paints meekness as a weakness, but it is far from the character of being weak. It takes great strength to learn to have a gentle spirit. Silence is a greater instrument of strength than the loud-mouthed, unruly tongue filled with the poison of uncontrolled anger. Through the Holy Spirit, the heart learns patience and to speak in a voice of wisdom. These traits show the Christian apart from the world as God’s elect with an example of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, and longsuffering.
The character of gentleness is found in the leaders of the church. Paul would instruct Timothy to appoint men to shepherd the flock of God who are gentle and meek. Those who would preach the word of God must possess the spirit of gentleness without being quarrelsome. This kind of wisdom does not come from the works of the flesh. Only from that which is above (Holy Spirit) will a man find the wisdom of God that is pure, peaceable, willing to yield, and full of mercy and good fruits. The gentle and quiet spirit is the most desired trait of a person of God. There will always be conflict in the life of a Christian. As a fruit of the Holy Spirit, humility will focus the heart on being gentle with all men so that Christ can be magnified and the Father glorified. The church must be filled with souls that seek the fruit of the Spirit and, in particular, to learn gentleness.