The Fruit of the Spirit is…GENTLENESS

24 Jun

“The fruit of the Spirit is…gentleness…” Galatians 5:22

Every time I spend any amount of time in the precious pages of God’s Word, I end up loving Him in a greater way! I love my Lord because He is constantly displaying all of these fruits, making it possible for me to be loving, joyful, peaceful, long-suffering, and gentle to Him and to others! He convicted and challenged me in my study of this fifth fruit. I found that it means much more than I’ve thought it to mean for all these years!

I found that the word gentleness comes from the Greek word chrestotes meaning ‘usefulness, excellence (in character or demeanor), kindness.’ I believe that this ‘excellence’ is displayed in the ability to respond to situations and to people in a way that reflects total dependence upon and trust in Christ. This can be applied to both our dealings with others and with our Lord. This can mean turning the other cheek and denying self when we have been hurt or offended by someone or refraining from questioning and complaining the work of our Lord in our lives.

A passage in Philippians chapter 2, shed further light on the fruit of “gentleness” for me:

“For it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings. That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” (verses 13-15)

We are commanded to “do ALL things without murmurings and disputings.” “All” includes our responses to fellow Christians, the lost, and most importantly, Jesus Christ! If we truly believe that “ALL” is being worked by God, then we should have no room for complaining! If we desire to “shine as lights in the world,” we must be willing to react differently than they react to the pressures and strains of life! If those without God react with complaining and grumbling, then shouldn’t we be careful that those reactions are not also present in our lives that are to be “hid with Christ in God?” (Col. 3:3) After all strife or self-seeking is found among the works of the flesh listed in Galatians 5:20. When our response to God’s work (or what may at times seem like a failure to work on our time-table) is one of question and complaint, we are manifesting a work of the flesh, and therefore the devil has us exactly where he wants us! The root of our complaint comes from the feeling that we know best and from the lack of belief in God’s ability to “perfect that which concerneth” us! (Psalm 138:8) When we question, we are in essence saying that we don’t truly believe that He has our best interests in mind (although that couldn’t be farther from the truth! He delights in working all things for our good and His glory! (Romans 8:28))!

The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to pen this list of “fruit” that we might surrender our spirits of strife for a spirit of “gentleness,” that we as believers could be exactly that, BELIEVERS in the FACT that the God that began this work in us “will perform it” (Phil. 1:6) even if it means we must be tested and tried! This ‘excellence in character and demeanor’ isn’t expected only when the circumstances are excellent but at all times! He desires us to trust Him enough that we can quietly and gently await His working!

In self, I so often respond to others and regretfully to my Lord in a spirit of strife! I feel a ‘need’ to be in control and rarely respond with the beautiful fruit of “gentleness!” What conviction this study has brought to my soul that feels nearly barren of these fruits while desiring to be “filled” with them! Just as a servant can’t be ‘useful’ for his master while questioning his authority, I cannot be ‘useful’ for my Master when questioning and complaining about the duty He has called me to, today!

1 Peter chapter 3 holds a verse that describes “gentleness” in action:

“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price!” (verse 4)

“A meek and quiet spirit” is evidence of the fruit of “gentleness,” and WOW did my study of the word “quiet” bring all of this into perspective!

old-chairquiet: hesuchios: KEEPING ONE’S SEAT! STILL (UNDISTURBED!)

God’s heart is blessed when I ‘keep my seat” thus keeping my hand from interfering in His perfect plan for my life! I display the fruit of “gentleness” when I display ‘excellence’ during the toughest of times, times when I don’t understand but I ‘keep my seat’ trusting Him! What a temptation it is to leave our seats and personally attempt to deal with the person or circumstance that is making it difficult to be gentle, but we must trust Him to “do it”(Ez. 36:36) “It” being that which is most profitable unto the “praise of God!” (Phil.1:11) That may mean removing it or it may mean allowing it to remain, either way He will do what will enable us to bring Him the most glory and bear the most spiritual fruit, especially the fruit of “gentleness!”

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One Response to “The Fruit of the Spirit is…GENTLENESS”

  1. Joe Newsome June 25, 2009 at 5:30 am #

    These studies on the fruit of the Spirit have been a great challenge to me. You have great insight into God’s word. I have made it a part of my morning devotion. Thank you for sharing with us what God is showing you.

    Love you
    Uncle Joe

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