March 6, 2016 by Tricia Draper
Fruit of the Spirit – Gentleness
We are going through our series on the Fruit of the Spirit. We see these fruits in:
• Galatians 5:22-23New International Version (NIV)
• 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
If you have missed any of our other episodes, please visit our website any time at themessengersradio.com. We are studying the fruits in the order they were given because that is how we feel they are to be used. For example, love comes first, then joy, etc… If you don’t have love, you won’t have joy. And the list goes on from there.
We are going to look into Gentleness today. We only see the word in a few scriptures. I love how Paul advises the Colossians and Timothy to have gentleness along with other fruits of the Spirit.
• Colossians 3:12
• Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
• 1 Timothy 6:11
• But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.
Paul may have been speaking to these people specifically, but since we get our instruction from the Bible, they are just as true for us today as they were to those early believers.
The Dictionary definition of gentleness is:
. kindly amiable:
. not severe, rough, or violent; mild
Jesus was definitely kind and gentle to the people who needed Him, but He was also severe, rough and sometimes violent; especially with the Pharisees. We see in
• John 2:15
• So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.
He was defiantly not “mild” in that moment. Gentleness does not mean letting people walk all over you. There is a time for righteous indignation. Jesus was what He needed to be in the right situations.
We as believers need to know when to be gentle and when to stand up for our beliefs. For so long the Christian faith has centered on being so “loving” and accepting of everyone that we seem to have foregone some of our rights. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t love everyone, because that is what God asks of us. We are to be lovers of men, but also and more importantly, lovers of God.
We find ourselves in an era of public sins, such as homosexuality, being accepted by many. We as Christians on a whole have not in past years taken our stand and declared with righteous authority that this is a sin. We have let others run over us by trying to live in peace with everyone as the Bible says, not knowing the full meaning behind this charge.
It says in Hebrews that we are to live in peace with everyone.
• Hebrews 12:14
• [ Warning and Encouragement ] Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
Our charge here is to live in peace, not pieces, choosing when to turn a blind eye. When we see others sinning, we are not to try to shame them, but to gently let them know they are sinning. We find in
• Galatians 6:1
• [ Doing Good to All ] Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
This is a tricky area, and we want to point out the not all believers are the same. Some are more outspoken about their values, while others can be just as effective by gently speaking the Word. There is no right or wrong way to reveal our beliefs when God is speaking through us.
Gentleness and peace have their place. Unfortunately, many churches in the past few decades have let the world slowly take over by thinking that love is only passive. Love is aggressive, too. We have to love our brother, but we do not want to see him go to Hell just because we didn’t want to hurt his feelings by telling him the truth.
We have strayed somewhat from gentleness today, but we need to be reminded that gentleness is not only one-sided. We can love others and show them our representation of Jesus by our love and gentleness, but that doesn’t mean we let the world walk over us as we stand by and do nothing.
If we truly love our neighbor as we are taught, we will stand up for our rights in Jesus and show them our love not only by our gentleness, but also by taking our stand against the devil and his schemes.
• 2 Timothy 2:24-26New International Version (NIV)
• 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
There is a time for righteous indignation. When Jesus comes back, He is not coming for just a reunion with us, but for a battle. We are in a war, and we need to be battle ready.
Gentleness is how God works with us on many levels to show the Jesus in us, but we don’t need to be so gentle that the enemy comes in and catches us unaware. We need to speak the Word gently, but know that we have all the authority of Christ behind us.
Here are some ways to use your authority gently.
• Vote. Our forefathers set up this country so we could have religious freedoms, and men and women are fighting for this right every day.
• Speak gently but pointedly in public settings when the occasion arises.
o Example: If someone tries to engage in conversation to find your true beliefs.
• Gently tell others who flaunt their sin that you love them as a human, but you cannot condone their behavior.
o Someone asks you to accept them as a homosexual.
• Don’t get into shouting matches with sinners, but gently tell them the gospel when able. Don’t cause friction, but don’t let them harass you.
o Example: When someone is very confrontational and expects you to argue with them, even though they will not listen to you.
• Pray. You can be gentle by expressing your concerns to God.
o Example: Paul says in one of our favorite verses:
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
The point is to gently love your neighbor, but don’t let their sin entangle you. The enemy uses unbelievers to bait you and cause you to get upset. That’s when you can either gently correct them in love, or simply pray for God to send someone they will listen to.
This all sounds easy, but the truth is we live in a fallen and sinful world. The enemy tries hard to distract us from our faith because he knows how strong we really are as Christians. He knows the power we have over him, so gently love one another, but don’t get caught up in an argument you can’t win.
This may have not been an easy message, but we love you all, and only want the best for you. We would love feedback on this and any other episode we have. You may reach us on our website at www.themessengersradio.com. We look forward to our next episode, the last Fruit of the Spirit: self-control.
Prayer for Salvation
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