Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Fruit of Gentleness

As I studied the Fruits of the Spirit from Galatians – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (5:22-23aNIV) – I realized that those traits are the very things the way the Father relates to us as His children. One of the greatest [often missed, but I believe] characteristics of God is His gentleness. He is the real gentleman. How often He had dealt with me gently and tenderly as my Father… God knows how often too He had dealt with you up to this moment; especially in the training of our spiritual life… Oh, God is gentleman.

But note this: Gentleness doesn’t mean weakness; it’s actually requires more strength to be gentle and kind than to be mean. It’s not softness as what we think of today as being ‘gentle’. It’s like what St. Francis De Sales said, “Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing is so gentle as real strength.”

I want to share with you; recently I had been a little mean with someone. I’d forgotten to feast on the fruit of gentleness, a fruit that help us to be angry and yet not sin. I repeat – to be angry and yet not sin. I knew I had to repent, so I went to that someone and asked for forgiveness. I told that someone I was very sorry for losing my cool, uncontrolled my temper and allow the situation to boss it over me. Deep in my heart I knew that God had a better way for us to interact with one another… more gently.

Every time I blown up, I’ve found that asking for forgiveness is the best remedy for anger and troubled heart. It may take a while for the healing process, but our Father promises to help us and guide us. And His gentleness and grace toward us makes all the difference. He helps us by giving us the fruit of the Spirit – including, the fruit of gentleness.

Question: How do I know this?
When that someone forgave me that day, I felt the strength of our relationship grow and the distance between us fade away. When you gather your strength to be more gentle and kind, and when Father gives you the spirit of gentleness, people will praise the Lord because they have ‘see that you are gentle and kind’ (Philippians 4:5). 

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