Written by Fiona Monaghan
Gentleness is a trait, I think, that we would like more of. It paints a picture of someone who is careful with other’s feelings, who can soothe with their words and be mindful of other people that share their lives. It is not a place of weakness, but of great strength. For someone to be gentle requires effort. To be mindful of how our words come across to another, requires effort, and to be careful toward people in our lives, requires effort.
Picture a small child who has been given a kitten to hold. We tell them “be gentle” as their tendency would be to squeeze and maybe get scratched in the process. It is by extra effort that gentleness is managed.
Jesus was portrayed as a gentle man. But no one would call him a weakling or someone who was easily pushed around. He showed gentleness to people caught in bad circumstances by extending kind words and gentle commands. ‘…neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more…” He came along side people at their most vulnerable and never seemed to be at a loss of words. He just knew the right things to say.
If we are to grow in this fruit I believe it requires effort on our part. The other fruit we have looked at previously result from a trusting place – trusting God with our lives and circumstances. This one has us making the effort to think about what we say, how we say it and what action we use around people who share our lives. The better we can do this requires us to know the one who showed how to live it. As we study Jesus’ life and the way he treated people we would feel encouraged to do likewise.
Try asking the people in your life if they see you as a gentle person and then act upon that.