Gentleness, a gift from the Holy Spirit, is one of relationship with others. It cannot be known unless there is a recipient of this gift. It is a way of listening to others and encouraging them in peace and joy. Yet, confront them with truth in love. Gentleness is strength clothed in soft velvet humility of a quiet and loving heart. (I Peter 3:4)
We often label someone new to us through our limited senses and determine ‘who’ they are without knowing them and walking in their footprints of life. We are not God, the God who looks on the heart. (I Samuel 16:7).
Gentleness means giving up the right to judge what is best for others and us. This gift of gentleness means we accept storms as well as the sunshine in our lives. We have been addicted to comfort in this life. We think this is our entitlement. Yet, we can be sure that through discomfort and struggles we learn to rely on the giver of gifts for more joy than we have ever known and not our own strength. We can have confidence in our Father of Gentle Love. Who else would love us so much He sent His Son to die for the sins of the world? He made a direct way to come to Him in prayer at any time.
There are ways to perceive a person who walks with God. One friend sacrificed time and money to drive a cancer-laden friend across the country for a last visit with her sister. By her deeds of generous kindness I knew her heart was filled with gentleness. This same person drove across several states to be with me as we buried our oldest son.
Wait, how can I obtain this gentleness? How can I erase my limited judgment of others? Who can help me to be gentle? How will I know when I have this gentleness?
It is a choice. A decision made once to accept Jesus is not a here and now decision that will fade with time. It is an eternal choice. It is choosing Jesus and His Love. This gift of Jesus comes with a ‘live-in’ Holy Spirit who guides and teaches each of us. All this forgiveness and rebirth of life are from our Heavenly Father, from whom all blessings flow! As we grow in grace and the fruit of the Spirit, our earthly desires for power and control, the need for peer adulation lessens and fades away. Our pride becomes empty and we become aware, it is all about Jesus and His nearness every moment of every day of our lives on earth.
When I think of gentleness, I hear the voice of Jesus beckoning me to come. He beckons children, the weary the tempted and the downtrodden. Those in pain, widowed, orphaned, those struggling with addiction, those in battle, victims of hate and abuse. I hear his gentle voice saying, Come unto me!
-Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
-But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Matthew 19:14
-If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21
-He said to another person, “Come, follow me.” Luke 9:59
-Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35
-“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ Matthew 25:44-45
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. I Timothy 6:11. Without righteousness, there is no gentleness, without living a godly life there is no gentleness. Without faith, love, and perseverance – there is NO Gentleness! The fruit of the Spirit are woven together with unbreakable eternal threads of the beauty of the love of our Lord God. Love is the foundation that Gentleness stands on.