“Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.” Phil. 4:5
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Gal. 5:22-23
“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” 2 Tim. 2: 24-26.
If you follow the Lord Jesus Christ in His time on earth carefully and closely through the Bible, you will notice that He was always loving, because that is His very nature and character, but that His love took on different forms. Sometimes He was kind and gentle. Other times tough. Stern. Firm. Even angry. Sometimes tender. Merciful. Humble. Other times authoritative, commanding, emphatic and passionately hard. Sometimes unbelievably confrontational. Other times sweet and lowly. We were made in God’s image, we who follow Jesus Christ as Lord are to be continually growing in His image, and just as His Spirit lives inside us, just as He refines us and molds us to be ever more like Himself, we are to bear the fruit of His very essence, fruit that among other things includes GENTLENESS. And, just as at times Jesus was with others there is a time in His love as His Spirit leads us we need to be firm, stern, hard, confrontational, tough, etc., there is also AS HIS SPIRIT LEADS US, as a FRUIT OF HIS SPIRIT LIVING INSIDE US, a time we must be GENTLE like JESUS.
Sometimes we don’t want to be gentle – but we need to be. Sometimes exactly when we don’t feel like being gentle because we’re angry, impatient, hurting, frustrated, exasperated, stressed out, overwhelmed, prideful, judging someone, exhausted, feeling desperate, distracted, whatever the case may be, sometimes that’s exactly the time, the circumstance, and the person or people with whom the Spirit of God is calling us to be patient and gentle. We need to empty ourselves of the sin clogging our hearts, take a deep breath of God, be filled with His Spirit, and proceed with what? With gentleness!
Oh, how many times I have not been gentle exactly when I needed to be. Even as I write this, I can see opportunities and times the Lord wanted me to be gentle – and I was anything but. Even this very day, how much I wish I had been gentle. But tired, exasperated, I got frustrated with a dog instead of being gentle. Or, in the past, how I see in retrospect when someone needed to see Christ’s gentleness in me, through me, instead the person saw fury. Saw my sin. My sin I needed to repent from but instead was clogged with and acted out upon.
Let us be gentle when the Lord calls us to be. Shall we? Yes! Bearing the fruit of His Spirit living inside us, let us be gentle like Jesus!