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Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness

Fruit of the Spirit Friday

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

What fruit are you focusing on this fruit this week?

Gentleness. Let your gentleness be known to all men. Phil 4:5

How does the Bible define this fruit?

Gentleness or meekness is the disposition to be gentle, kind, indulgent, even-balanced in tempers and passions, and patient in suffering injuries without feeling a spirit of revenge. It means to be meek or humble demonstrated in a submissive attitude.

In A Woman’s Walk with God, Elizabeth George explains, “…the Old Testament Word for gentle is anah, which describes the condition of a grain of wheat that is mature and so full of the fruit of the grain that the tender stalk cannot stand under the weight and is bowed down, full of fruit. This is the posture we should strive for.”

How does God reveal this fruit to us?

God is so full of grace and mercy. He is powerful and yet gentle.

Recently one of my adult daughters said something that hurt me very deeply. I didn’t tell her how much it hurt. Later when I was alone I cried and turned to my Bible for comfort. I prayed and let it go. The next day she came up to me with tears in her eyes and said, “I’m sorry mom, I didn’t mean that. I love you so much.” Immediately, as I reached out to hug her, I felt an flood of love toward her as the forgiveness poured out of me. At that moment I thought this is how wonderful God feels when we ask forgiveness. God shows us His gentleness each time He forgives us, cares for us, leads us.

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

What is the evidence of this fruit in one’s life?

Gentleness comes from having a humble opinion of one’s self, coupled with the inner strength to control one’s emotions, tongue, and behavior.

Share an example of the presence of this fruit in someone’s life.

My grandmother was a gentle woman. When she passed everyone said they never heard her say an unkind word about anyone. She wasn’t a wimp–she was strong, yet gentle.

How does fruit or lack of it in our life affect others? (spouse, children, friends)

What a huge difference a kind, gentle word makes. One of the biggest regrets I have is knowing I have spoken unkind and insensitive words to my children. When we walk in the flesh we are not gentle and it can be painful to those we love and leave scars.

What can you do to express more of this fruit in your character?

I have had a paradigm shift in my thinking. It is not our responsibility to produce fruit. The Holy Spirit is the producer. We are only the bearer. The fruit of the Spirit is not proof of our dedication. Fruit is the evidence of our dependency on the Holy Spirit.

Fruit should not be our focus. Our focus should be on seeking the kingdom (that’s another study); seeking God’s will. The more we seek God, the more fruit we will bear. When we purpose to walk in the Spirit instead of the flesh (moment by moment) the result of that decision will be the fruit of the Spirit (even during trials).

John Piper said:

The danger is that instead of seeking transformation from God in our hearts to rid ourselves of our depravity, we may take the list of virtues and find a way to use them to express our depravity. For example, if our problem is that at root we are very proud and self-sufficient people, and a moral authority like Paul tells us that kindness and faithfulness are virtues, we may very well train ourselves to do kind things and to keep our promises so that we can be proud of ourselves and feel morally self-sufficient before God and man. Then the list of virtues would not have helped us overcome our depravity at all. In fact, it would have deepened our sin, because now we prostitute the very Word of God and use it to satisfy our depraved desires.

Through prayer I will ask for God to teach me to be gentle and remind me to speak with a kind, loving voice. I will purpose to let go of bad attitudes or habits as in Ephesians 4:22-24. I will try to temper my speech to my husband and children. I will do these things, not to become gentle, but to be obedient because I want grow closer to God because I love Him and want to please Him. It is when I turn away from self-reliance and look to mercy in Christ that God will allow His fruit to be produced in me.

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About Robin Sampson

11 comments

  1. “The fruit of the Spirit is not proof of our dedication. Fruit is the evidence of our dependency on the Holy Spirit.”

    I like this. So often I begin to think that I am the producer instead of the bearer.
    It makes life hard. Kind of like me holding my breath thinking that if i do it long enough I will start sprouting watermelons.
    My devotional this morning was on patience.Patience to let God have his perfect work until I am complete.
    He has been working on me about gentleness lately. Thanks for the post–good food for thought

  2. gentleness…. like a summer breeze… like the whisper of a child telling a secret… like our lovers voice..

    like the whisper of our Savior

    I so love this post…it is a wonderful reminder of how Christ lived His life..

    thank you….

    blessings…

  3. Sharon “Kind of like me holding my breath thinking that if i do it long enough I will start sprouting watermelons.” You are a hoot! What a word picture.

    Hope you can write about your patience study and join Fruity Friday next week. (hmmm I sound impatient)

  4. Thank you for asking me to join you in this MeMe. I have bookmarked the instuction page.
    I loved your post about gentleness. My Mother was an example of this fruit. She was always calm, and gentle. She was kind to everyone. Her spirit just soothe you. She is who I thought of when you mentioned your grandmother.
    Thanks for bringing her to mind.
    Mama Bear

  5. I know God must be speaking to me. My blog from yesterday had the same thing from a Women’s Walk With God as yours does. I enjoy your site.

  6. I blogged the Fruit of the Spirit meme. Sorry, I should have let you know last night!!
    I just wrote a post about Love. I haven’t done it before, so I didn’t address each question like you did.

    http://homeschoolblogger.com/JacqueDixonSoulRestES/336937/

    I will be putting it on my HOW blog too
    -Jacque

  7. Robin,

    Thanks for your kind comment on my Thankful Thursday post. And, thank you for ivviting me to join you all in Fruit of the Spirit Friday. What a wonderful Bible study and a wonderful way to focus on God’s gifts to us.

    Blessings,
    Angie

  8. Thanks for the You Tube link and the bee info. Know that I am praying for you and that I look forward to seeing more of the Lord’s work in your life as He sees you through this time.

    Blessings,
    Stacy

  9. Robin – that is so beautiful. You are right, some see gentleness/meekness as weakness, but it is not so. The best example is our Lord. If we have Him as our example, we can be just as gentle, yet strong like Him. I too have said some unkind words to our son over the years, which regret.
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this wonderful topic.
    Be blessed today and always.

  10. Dear Robin,
    Thank you for sharing this teaching. I remember reading somewhere about a mother who apologized to her children for enjoying getting angry at them (using her position to Lord it over them). I think that if we can remember a time that wounded our child deeply, that we should write them a letter asking for their forgiveness. I remember Norm Wakefield talking about a time when he had hurt his son and the boy fled to his room. Norm didn’t go after him, he just let the boy stew. Well it took years before Norm found out that his son’s heart had locked toward him that day.
    Thank you for teaching us what it means to walk in the spirit.You are in my prayers.

    Jill

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