“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness…” (Galatians 5:22)
We have dealt with the first four of the fruit of the Spirit as to the life of the believer, concluding that the Word of God makes it perfectly clear that a tree is known by the fruit it bears. What does the Word of God have to say about the fruit of gentleness as it applies to the Child of God?
The Greek word for “gentleness” is “chrēstotēs”; a disposition to be gentle, soft-spoken, kind, even-tempered, cultured, and refined in character and conduct.
Now, besides being a long-sufferer, we are also commanded to have a gentle spirit. Whoa! Lord, You mean to tell me that not only do I have to be longsuffering with those who are offensive to me? And I have to be gentle, soft-spoken, and even-tempered?
Yes we do.
(2 Timothy 2:24) “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,”
(Titus 3:1-2) “Put them (the saints, children of God) in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, (2) To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.”
Another Scripture given to us as to gentleness is:
(1 Peter 2:18) “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.”
The Word of God teaches the Child of God that not only are we to be gentle with those who are gentle and fair with us, but we also have to show gentleness toward those who are crooked, wicked, and surly.
We are also to be soft-spoken:
(Proverbs 15:1) “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
Jesus, just before sending His disciples out into the world to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom, gave them this instruction:
(Matthew 10:16) “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
Another word for the word “gentleness” is “kind”; and the Saints of God are commanded to be kind to one another:
(Ephesians 4:31-32) “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: (32) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
We have now dealt with the fifth fruit of the Spirit.
Do we, as Christians, bear this fruit on our tree?