Gentleness means to be gentle or meek, to be lowly or humble. It is a form of self-control which Christ alone can give and it manifest itself in a submissive spirit toward both God and man. Gentleness is also the opposite of self-reliant arrogance.
Just why is gentleness so costly?
- Gentleness means trusting the Lord – Just as we trust the Lord for every fruit of the Spirit, so we trust Him for this one too. In Matthew 5:5, Jesus says, “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”
It helps to note first what gentleness isn’t: It is not resentful, it bears no grudge, and it is not involved in mulling over injuries. And what does gentleness do instead? It finds refuge in the Lord and His ways. It endures plundering, provocation, and suffering in the humble submission to an all-wise, caring Father, trusting totally in the love of God.
But we instantly wonder how can anyone bear plundering, provacation, suffering, and ill-treatment. For me the answer boils down to one word – faith. The invisible root system of gentleness goes deep into the rich soil of faith. Faith believes that everything that happens in our life is allowed by God and that he He is able to help us handle our situation. Our faith in the God behind this truth keeps us from struggling and fighting because faith believes that God will fight for us. (Psalms 60:12)
2. Gentleness means submitting to the master – Don’t you desire to be controlled by him [Jesus]? Don’t you truly yearn for Him to take complete charge of your life, to lead and guide you, to protect and care for you as you follow Him unquestioningly in faith? “What make humility [gentleness] so desirable is the marvelous thing it does to us: it creates in us a capacity for the closest possible intimacy with Christ.” To belong totally to the Master, to want only his Will, to depend completely on Him, and to yield humbly to Him and His ways bring great intimacy with God.
3. Gentleness means following Christ example – Matthew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.” Our Lord, the King of Kings rode on a colt as He approached Jerusalem for the last time. Zechariah 9:9 which said “Behold, your king is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.”
Jesus came not as a storming conqueror or a battling king, but as the king who is meek, gentle, peaceful, gracious.
4. Gentleness means bowing the soul – The old testament term for gentleness “Anah”, describes a mature, ripened shock of grain with its head bent low and bowed down. Just think of the beauty of this picture. As the wheat grows, the young sprouts rise above the rest. Their head shoots up the highest because no grain has yet formed. But-as time passes and maturity sets in , fruit comes forth-so much that burdened stalk bends – the lower the head, the greater the amount of fruit.
Oh, how I want to be this kind of Christian – a Christian with a lowered head, seasoned and mature, well past the stages of arrogance, pride, and vain emptiness. I yearn for the beauty of prostrating my soul before my Lord and bending in need toward my God.
5. Gentleness means putting on a gentle spirit – Wearing this gentle spirit calls for a decision from us. God loves the quality of gentleness in His women:
In verses 1 Peter 3:1-6 the following is seen:
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
6. Gentleness means TAKE IT – A person who is practicing gentleness bears with tranquility the disturbances others create. She endures ill-treatment. She withstands misunderstandings. Carrying the images of Jesus and His suffering in her mind and her heart, she takes it, thus cultivating the fruit of the Spirit of God’s gentleness. Yes, it may look like gentleness is a weakness, but producing this fruit calls for the greatest of strength!
Note: The above information is a study taken from the book, “A Woman’s Walk With God, Growing in the Fruit of the Spirit” by Elizabeth George