Imagine being able to go back in time and follow Jesus around every day.
What characteristics would you see?
Today’s fruit of the spirit is gentleness, and I think I can say without a doubt, it would be on the top of the list of attributes you’d find in Jesus. But thanks to the Bible, we don’t have to go back in time to see Him in action. We can read about his encounters right here in our own homes. And when we read them, one certain word keeps coming to mind on how He treats others.
He treats them with gentleness. He treats them with kindness, love, humility, tenderness.
Gentleness is a form of kindness, and we know that we will never learn to love others if we don’t demonstrate kindness.
Jesus didn’t just go around talking about the many ways to love others. He showed us. And He ended up showing us the greatest act of kindness there is, by dying on the cross in our place, taking the punishment that we deserved.
Paul gives us a glimpse of the way he treated others in Thessalonians 2:7. He says: "We were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.”
Some scriptures to think on:
"Let your gentleness be evident to all."
"I am gentle and humble in heart"
"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.”
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
The act of showing gentleness stops a lot of potential arguments and anger between children. If your child asked another child gently for a toy, instead of grabbing it, there would be a completely different outcome.
Even babies can be taught to be gentle. Once they're old enough to grab your hair, you take it from their grasp saying, “be gentle.”
If you have multiple children, you’ve probably told the older sibling on occasion, ‘be gentle with your baby sister.” Boys especially, can benefit from the act of gentleness.
But in truth, we can all use more of this fruit of the spirit, whether we’re one, or ninety-one.
What are some ways we can show gentleness to others?
1. Slow down
Sometimes the easiest way to show gentleness is to just slow down. At times, we go so quickly that we end up harming other people with our actions or words, not even noticing that we’re doing it. Slowing down can fix a lot of our problems in this regard. Slow down, take a deep breath, and go about your task with a gentle state of mind.
2. Think about it
If someone hurts us, is our first inclination to strike back? Or is it to stop, (count to ten if you need to) and respond with gentleness to the situation. Sometimes a good way to do this, is just by saying nothing at all!
Gentleness can go a long way with just the simple act of an apology. If you mess up, or even if you’re wrongly accused, have a word of apology ready at once. You’ll be amazed how quickly it can diffuse the situation. Wrong accusations can be tough to deal with, especially among children. But like I remind my siblings when situations like these arise, “Jesus was wrongly accused to the point that they killed Him. If He can take being wrongly accused and dying on a cross, and still respond in gentleness, then you can take the wrong accusations, (usually just words) and respond with a gentle tongue."
Is there someone in your life that can use a gentle word today? Did a certain person come to mind while you were reading this?
If so, make it your goal today to say at least one kind thing to that person. And let’s try our hardest to respond with gentleness in every situation.
Let’s strive to make sure that EVERYTHING we do is bringing glory to His name!
With humble hearts, let’s all strive to become more like Christ and take these things to heart.
Let's all be joyful, willing, servants of our King.