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Fruit of the Spirit: Day 10

Gentleness

by

Today's Text: Proverbs 15:1, Ephesians 4:1-6, 1 Peter 3:4-6

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love…

- Ephesians 4:1-2, ESV -

Helen’s eyes were kind and steady. Deep, deep brown like a doe. I admired everything about her. We spent my first year of college in Bible study together and had grown to become good friends. The college ministry we were involved with sent students all over the country and around the world on summer missions. Most of our friends were off to those exciting, exotic locales serving God and we were stuck back at home taking summer school classes and working. We decided to stay connected and support each other throughout that summer by meeting together for Bible study.

I grew up culturally Buddhist. In high school I began a relationship with Jesus, so the Christian faith felt relatively new. Helen was not only two years older than me; her spiritual maturity exuded a deep, intimate relationship with God and her knowledge of the Bible proved equally admirable. I happily anticipated time with Helen in hopes of becoming more like her.

We sat cross-legged on a large boulder next to a babbling stream. Our Bibles open, the birds chirping, the sky a Colorado summer vibrant blue…a truly picturesque, Pinterest-worthy scene.

We closed our eyes to pray for our friends far away and for each other.

I opened one eye in time to see an ugly creepy crawly bug scurry across the pages of my Bible. I lifted my hand ready to smash bug guts everywhere, but in that split second I watched as Helen cupped her hands and let the bug crawl onto her hands. She carefully released the bug in the nearby grass.

Helen, to me, embodied gentleness—reserved, quiet, shy, soft-spoken, introverted. When friends sought her out for counsel, her deep brown eyes would close slowly as her head tilted in a slow nod of understanding. Kind to all God’s creation, she did not squish bugs.

Helen embodied everything I was not.

Back then I equated “gentle” with “shy.” Verses like 1 Peter 3:4, “but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God,” left me despairing, wondering how to willfully become shy.

Further study on the word “gentle,” however, yielded both unexpected relief and challenge.

The Greek word for gentleness, prautes, is defined as meekness, which means “strength under control” (Barclay). The image is one of a beautiful, strong stallion, trained under bit and bridle. The stallion retains all his tremendous strength, but now operates under the control of a master. Gentleness is not weakness; it is not a personality bent, a sentimental fondness or passive quiet. It is a fruit of the Spirit which enables a believer to place the will of God before her own.

Jesus, with strength enough to control the weather, describes Himself as gentle and humble in heart (Matthew 11:29). He subjects His great power to the will of God the Father, a model of the biblical gentleness that is precious in the sight of God. You and I can’t control the weather, but we do retain our personality, gifting and strengths when we come into relationship with God. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to submit our strength to the greater strength and Kingdom purposes of our God.

I still think my friend Helen is one of the gentlest people I’ve ever known, but now I better understand the “why” of her gentle spirit. Rather than shy, the fruit of gentleness calls me to be surrendered. Quiet or outgoing, bug-squisher or bug-saver, the key is found in the posture of our heart. A Christlike gentleness is not clutching and grabbing for control. It is the spirit of following Jesus with hands and heart open, humble yet strengthened in Him.

Father, help us bear fruit that honors You by laying aside our will for yours. Amen.

Vivian Mabuni is an author and speaker, and a sushi, white Christmas lights, coffee-with-friends-lover. She has been on staff with Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) for 26 years and serves with Epic Movement, the Asian-American ministry of Cru. Vivian is the author of Warrior In Pink: A Story of Cancer, Community and the God Who Comforts.

 

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  • Christine

    I love this. Like a stallion we are to submit to Christ’s guidance. He wants us to willingly give him the lead. It has nothing to do with being shy or introverted, or subjugated, but instead a stance, feet firmly planted as Christ the leader, the King. God made us all to take on different earthly roles, and never would want the diversity of his creation become some swath of homogenous shy women, mimicking one type of woman, deemed as “holier” in the church. Our diversity, showcases His creative power.

  • CristyLynn

    Thank you for this post! As someone with a personality bent more towards the introverted (but not necessarily shy) side, gentleness sometimes appears to seem natural to me, according to some people’s comments. I have previously learned the difference between “shy” and “meek”, and internally I know very well the struggle between truly having “strength under control” and just the appearance of it because of my introversion. This isn’t just a struggle for you bubbly extroverts who are more likely to “take over the world”! :) True gentleness comes only from the Spirit because we all want our own control, and we all have to learn to submit our will to that of our Loving, Powerful Father. I’m thankful for the Spirit’s help in this!

  • Lord, remind me that gentleness is not being shy or quiet, but having control over the strength I have obtained through You!

  • How timely! I grew up with the same misunderstanding of the word! I have been compared to a bull or a Clydesdale horse (all with the most positive intentions of course ha!) in regards to my strength or work ethic and sometimes just the way God has made me physically…now to have the strength of a bull under control enough to be called gentle, now that’s a feat to accomplish. I know I cannot do it myself, I cannot will myself to be gentle, so this reminder that it is a fruit of the Spirit not a fruit of Shereen gives me grace grace grace. There is so much in today’s reading that is just “WOW! Lightbulb!”

  • jackie clark

    For someone who struggles with the desire to be in control of situations, gentleness is a fruit that I pray for continually. How heart piercing these passages are. May I surrender to His will rather than my own.

  • Strength under control :)

  • This was fantastic. I have always had anger issues but over the years have learned to harness that anger by pinpointing what past abuses had caused it within me. But I’ll always be able to go from 0-100 quicker than most.

    Just last night I was angry. I wanted to bang on my chest and yell at how unfair things have been feeling lately. But I knew better and somehow let it go after hearing from God through certain friends in my life.

    And then I read this today. What a way to think of gentleness! “Strength under control”. I never really understood what meekness meant, other than it’s how Jesus is. You explained it perfectly. Jesus – God in human form – harnessed his perfect power and strength by submitting to God. Surrendering my passions and energies and righteous angers to God is the only way to be gentle and THEREFORE strong.

  • Sarah Beth

    This. Is. Perfect. After fighting with family and friends all week, this was put in my life at the most amazing time. Thank you so much.

  • Hannah Jones

    Needed this* today ❤️

  • Hannah Jones

    Needed thus today ❤️

  • I love this. I am a bull in a china shop with a fiery temper. However, I know that my temper flares when my I’m hurt; I’m actually a deep-feeling person, gentle of heart. I’m not lost to Him. I simply must submit to Him. Pray for Him to give me the self-control to resist my passionate knee-jerk reactions and choose a gentler approach. Thank you!

  • BlessedandFavored

    God, please help me to get out of your way and let you do your work

  • The his was so amazing. Father help me to put aside all self control for Your will and gentleness.

  • My gentleness only takes me to a point and then I want to fume inside. Even if there is outer control there is internal rage going on inside of me. Lord, through your spirit only can we have real gentleness in and through us. There is something indeed about a gentle person. You can’t help but gravitate towards them.

  • This was so helpful. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • “15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” Oh how I wish all Christians would follow the last sentence: But do this with gentleness and respect.” How many more conversions would there be through “gentleness and respect” instead of superiority and pridefulness?

  • Amen :)

  • Dear lord please please let this be tattooed on my heart. This series has continually reminded me all these beautiful qualities aren’t natural and don’t come from me but come from the spirit. Please lord continue to move in my heart and bring me closer to you day by day. I love you so much lord. Thank you for all you have done for me and all your are doing in my heart.i pray all this in Jesus name amen.

  • Kasey Summers

    Love love love this. I need more gentleness and patience. For this high energized- bit of an attitude problem daughter of the King. I have to calm my heart and remind it of who is in control of it- Jesus, not me. Lord give me gentleness please knowing that this is gentleness >>> “A Christlike gentleness is not clutching and grabbing for control. It is the spirit of following Jesus with hands and heart open, humble yet strengthened in Him.”

  • I was just having this conversation with a friend the other day, about control. So badly I want to control things in my life and it has taken me 33 years, two children and a husband to make me realize that as soon as I start letting go of the reins, and letting Him control my life- everything falls into place. Tone gentle is a beautiful way to be and God wants us to display this towards others and ourselves. Thank you for reinforcing this ladies!

  • IT Outsourcing Fort

    Gentleness is not weakness; it is not a personality bent, a sentimental fondness or passive quiet. It is a fruit of the Spirit which enables a believer to place the will of God before her own….wow this spoke to me….people see me as an extrovert but truly I am not…I am quiet but the quiet seems to scare those that do not know me …so I talk…those that know me are comfortable with me being quiet….gentle…don't let the world shape you…be gentle.

  • “Let go and let God” My whole life has been spent trying to control things which has caused me nothing but turmoil, grief, pain and anxiety I believe happiness is found in letting go and letting God

  • I love this and needed this today. I have recently realized how cold I can be. It is a coping mechanism from my past but I think God is healing me and challenging me to break down the walls. Thank you!

  • Christina

    It had been a busier-than-normal week, and I’ve gotten behind in the readings, but gentleness as the submission of my strengths to the plan and purpose of God rather than clamoring for control…. wow! It puts all the inner turmoil I’ve been experiencing this week over a new responsibility I’ve been given into perspective. Yesterday was sort of the crux of that inner turmoil for me, so this is a timely read even though I’m behind. Thank you!

  • thekholtz

    I really needed to hear this. I am such an extrovert & an outgoing person, and when I knew I would be reading about gentleness I wasn't quite sure how I could apply it. I had the same perception of the word "gentleness" as Vivian. I have tried time and time again to be more introverted, but I've finally embraced that it's not the person God created me to be. And as I continue to embrace his Spirit in my life and allow him to work within me, gentleness will follow. These are great thoughts! Thank you for sharing!

  • I saw this passage referenced yesterday in one of the readings and after I turned to it, I was struck by the gentleness of Jesus:

    Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.
    He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street;
    a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;
    he will faithfully bring forth justice.
    He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭42‬:‭1-4‬ ESV)

    It was so powerful to me as I realized his gentleness to me and to others who feel like bruised reeds or faintly burning wicks. I could drink of his goodness all day long, if only I would let myself believe it!! It always seems too good to be true, like now I have to get busy and work for it.

  • Yikes! My comments keep disappearing! This is my third and final try to post (I am sorry if all three show up…) Anyway, YES! to all you said, SusieT…I love how God spoke to and convicted you through your daughter’s coloring. Thank you for sharing that!

  • I’m thinking about sarcasm and how it is so prevalent and so not gentle. Even though it is often couched in playful banter, it is so not gentle.

    • SusieT

      Oh, Bridget, you are spot on! The Holy Spirit began convicting me about that some time ago and He showed me that having something sarcastic to say, or something witty to respond with, is often *not* a good thing. Ouch! …And then, he used a little daughter of mine to further illustrate the point. At the time, my daughter was not quite three. She loved to draw with crayons and seemed to understand that crayons were for coloring books and [mother-approved] paper. But then… Yep, you guessed it. One day, I was surprised to see her little white table all "decorated" with various crayon colors…one line of which had even continued on an adjacent wall! I was so surprised…a bit disappointed in her behavior, and *not* happy about it. (As I write this now, it does indeed seem silly that I should have been so shocked…a small child of three…but she was my first and had always been so obedient.) Exasperated, I thought about taking away her crayons altogether for awhile…and [I kid you not] the Impression I immediately received from the Holy Spirit was so loud as to nearly be audible. I do believe God laughed, too, as he gently pointed out that, despite my frequent MIS-use of communication – in my case, speech, and more especially, my proclivity for sarcasm — He had yet to strike me mute. He hadn't, as it were, taken away MY crayons. …Talk about being immediately and FULLY humbled…and rightly so! …All too often, I had used sarcasm as a way of communicating my feelings to others, but in a way that I *thought* appeared more funny than mean. Oh, how wrong I was!! For me, anyway, sarcasm was [is!] too often a cowardly way to behave, for it would be better – IF indeed my thoughts or feelings were required in the first place — to speak "truthfully, and with love"! Sure, a little wit here and then can still be fun – an innocent play on words…but not at someone else's expense…nor as sarcasm that disrespects someone. …To do so is *not* gentleness.

      • Abbie

        This is convicting…I am quite skilled in sarcasm and take any chance I get to make a sarcastic remark. Esh. Not something I want to give up, but I see your point and am convicted to think about it at least… :-0

      • Christine

        I agree, The Lord has been showing me that the main reason I use sarcasm is for attention or to sound witty and cool. It feeds my ego and puffs up my pride. Definitely an opposite thing of what He has for us .

  • Since I am an introverted and shy Helen, this resonated quite strongly with me :)

    This was my favourite part though: The Greek word for gentleness, prautes, is defined as meekness, which means “strength under control” (Barclay). The image is one of a beautiful, strong stallion, trained under bit and bridle. The stallion retains all her tremendous strength, but now operates under the control of a master. Gentleness is not weakness; it is not a personality bent, a sentimental fondness or passive quiet. It is a fruit of the Spirit which enables a believer to place the will of God before her own.

    I strive to have the same gentleness as Christ, one that draws people to him.

  • So delighted with Vivian's contribution today. I have been given helpful direction with this and the Max Lucado quote today. SRT is a gift and such a lovely place to visit every day with you sisters ( a term I use in respect to you all. )

  • Sarah Martin

    Whew! Today! I've been waiting for today's fruit of gentleness. You see, I'm more of a bug squisher and God has been speaking gentleness over me for a few months now. I'm a cheerleader type who likes to be bold and I'm navigating how to add more gentleness. But, now as I type this I'm reminded of the words that link through out this whole study of the fruit of the Spirit: they are gifts from God, not something we strive for. Thank you Vivian for these words today. Whew!

  • I found a quote from Max Lucado that says it all and is my prayer this morning. "I chose gentleness, nothing is won by force. If I raise my voice, may it only be in praise. If I clench my fist, may it only be in prayer. If I make demands may it only be of myself."
    Blessings for you all.

  • A Christlike gentleness is not clutching and grabbing for control. It is the spirit of following Jesus with hands and heart open, humble yet strengthened in Him.

    I feel like this written just for me. Such good thoughts…..thankful for this study of gentleness.

  • Within the first few seconds of reading today’s piece I felt so convicted. I have a non-Christian friend, and whenever we talk about heaven and justice and therefore the blood of Christ within 10/15 min of the conversation I get so angry and frustrated with his view (all people should go to heaven – how can a loving God sent good people to hell. He won’t accept that! ). That gentleness in today’s section disappear! I feel so angry and annoyed and hurt. Please pray for me to receive wisdom and words for our next chat.

  • Lauren Forde

    This. I needed this community this morning. 6 months ago I became a first time (Foster)mama to a three year old. Never did I imagine the depth of my freak-like control issues. I mean I’m trying to control my control issues, y’all. Desperate times. I needed to be reminded that there is strength in surrender. That protective watching over is a posture of the heart, NOT tightly gripped fists balled around circumstances or defiant toddlers. Your words softened my soul this morning friends. Thank you.

    • Amanda

      Lauren,
      I’m right there with you. I have a just turned 3 year old that is almost potty trained. I feel like this experience of potty training has pushed me past the limits. I’ve been convicted that I have to let some things go. God pointed me to John 10:10. I realize that God has given me such a blessing in my kids but when things get tense and I get upset I’m allowing Satan to use circumstances to steal my joy. I’m still working on it but I’m recognizing the thief comes to steal kill and destroy but my Jesus came to give me life more abundantly and I’m claiming that!

      • CBear

        Hi Amanda, I can completely relate to you, as I have a soon to be three year old who is having difficulty potty training. He is potty trained for going number one but has a strong fear and dislike for going number two at all. Even in his diaper:( it breaks my heart to see this fear and need of control come over him. I pray every night for me to remain patient and that this will pass when it feels like there is no end in sight. I will say a prayer right now for patience and gentleness for the both of us!!

    • Mindy

      Proud of you mama! Prayed that he HS will fill you with all the fruits of the spirit as you love on this baby. The most important ministry ever!

  • This entire study on the fruit of the Spirit has been a blessing to me! I especially enjoyed today. I love how you explain gentleness as a state of humbleness and surrender… How beautiful!!!

    The Lord has been working in my life regarding gentleness for a while now. This is actually a big struggle for me. I love Philippians 4:5-6, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything…” So often I lose my gentleness when I am feeling anxiety. It is the Lord’s nearness during those times that calms my anxiety and helps me to treat my children with gentleness. I wrote two posts about it if you’re interested.

    http://www.delightfullydisheveledmom.com/let-gent

    http://www.delightfullydisheveledmom.com/cast-all

    I’m thankful for this community and shereadstruth!

    • CBear

      Thank you for posting that Kelly, as I can totally relate. I will definitely be checking out your blog from now on:)

    • Mandi

      I also can relate. Thank you! Good things to meditate on.

    • Amy jo

      Kelly, thank you SO MUCH for sharing!! I’ve been blessed by SRT over and over and this is my first comment. I’m behind and was so blessed by the faith devo yesterday. I’ve done my own study with prayer and fasting through the Fruits of the Spirit before and He is still teaching me!! Thank you for sharing those blogs!! I can SO relate and as I read, you could’ve been writing from my kitchen. Struggling to give everything right and perfect for our home often leaves me frustrated anxious and bitter towards those I love the most. Thank you again for sharing. Such a blessing and a much needed reminder…… Amy

  • Every time I've studied the verses about gentleness, a quiet spirit, etc. I've automatically thought, "well, that's out the window for me". I have always longed to be that quiet, graceful, kind, wise woman — instead, I'm extroverted, goofy, impatient, and can be gruff with my children when I'm tired (which is a lot!). As others have shared, it is so easy to feel like a failure in this way if you aren't naturally gentle and meek in personality. This is such a refreshing and relieving perspective and I feel like it was intended for me to read today, as I don't usually visit this blog. Thank you Jesus for speaking to me!

  • Realizing how often pride and self righteousness gets in the way of gentleness. When we feel we have to prove a point, that justice must be served, that we must have our way….we are forgetting who we belong to! That our Father is more then capable of handling “our stuff” and he is far more concerned with the posture of our heart. Submission is strength. Loved hearing the definitions and backgrounds of the words lately…so good!

  • Megan Gilley

    Once again, just what I needed!

  • I believe my calling is to be a mom. It’s something I have always wanted and now, here I am! But am I always gentle, kind, and humble with my kids (and husband for that fact)? Nope! I know I’m not! Middle of the nigh cries, whining, sick ones..the list goes on and on for the times I want to just go nuts. But THESE are the times I am supposed to be gentle, kind, and humble! Thanks for this reminder today as I’m putting it into practice…..now!

  • Vivian and SRT Sisters ~ what beautiful and helpful explanations of true Gentleness! That it is NOT shyness, being introverted, or meek – but rather strength under control, and submission to our Lord's will. Wow! So much to think and meditate upon….

    In reading 1 Peter 3:15-16, I was struck with the fact that this passage says that we should maintain gentleness and respect so that "when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame." Notice: it says WHEN we are slandered, not IF. And so, being slandered is something that we, as Christ followers, can expect to happen from time to time. It is not pleasant, and when we're being slandered by someone who professes to be a Christian, it is all the more disheartening; isn't it? But God in His Word tells us that, even in such difficult situations…even amidst false accusations, we are to remain gentle. A tall order, to be sure! "Great strength under control, submitting [instead] fully to God's plan."

    • Verna

      This devotional and your comments, Susie have encouraged me so much. My family has been going through what you described and the verses in Peter were a real eye opener for me this morning. Your comment was so encouraging to me…thank you!

      • SusieT

        Praying for you, Verna. I know first-hand how difficult such times can be. If you haven't already done so, check out Candacejo's comments in her link (see up above). Her example of Moses' behavior while under persecution is very helpful. Blessings to you and your family!!

      • Verna

        Thank you, Susie! What makes it even harder is that we’re dealing with it from a

      • Verna

        Someone in the same church. Thanks for your encouragement!

  • I am an introvert. But I can also be wildly anxious and a tad bit loud when I'm excited. In owning my introversion, I aspired to also have that quiet and gentle spirit. I felt my boisterous attitude was ridiculous and I wanted to appear as someone who was thoughtful and 'had it all together.' Ha. Just typing this, I am aware of how silly this intention sounds.
    At the root, this is about accepting all that God created in me and not falling prey to that comparison game. But in light of today's reading, I love, love, love that gentleness is about posturing my heart to be Surrendered. To Him. To His plans. To His creation of me. To everything. And being reminded again that this life is not about me. But about Him, and through Christ living as a reflection of Him, not of this world.

    • ~ B ~

      "I'm owning my introversion" … you've just described my attitude in the last couple of years. No longer comparing myself to others, but fully accepting me as God intended me made and being totally ok with it, because there is beauty in God's design … even if it's just little old me. You're spot on correct, it's about Him not me …. even in my introverted-ness glory can be found. :) ~ B

      • Beverly

        Your comment encouraged me, B. This was one of those heart thoughts that I was hesitant to share, but so glad it spoke to you too. Sometimes the simplest thoughts (or the thoughts that feel 'silly') are the ones we/I need to share more of. There is beauty in the simple. Grateful for Him and His reminders that His ways and creations are always best.

    • Kendra

      Great words, Beverly! Thanks for hitting the nail on the head!

  • "Gentleness is not weakness; it is not a personality bent, a sentimental fondness or passive quiet. It is a fruit of the Spirit which enables a believer to place the will of God before her own." These words really spoke to me today. Like Candace, I sometimes have a Mac Truck mentality. These lessons seem to written just for me lately. I love the God speaks to me through his word and through SRT and all of you. Have a blessed day.

  • Kelly_Smith

    When I read passages like Proverbs 15:1 about harsh words, I want to tattoo them on my arm to try to will myself to do better. I want to grit my teeth and make myself more gentle. Ironically, my self-talk is harsh and does not turn away my own wrath. Now Vivian has swooped in to whisper Spirit words to me. Indeed, Jesus' yoke is easy and His burden is light. It is the posture of my heart that produces gentleness. A soft answer starts right here, in this quiet place with my Bible open and my prayer journal full of the old me giving way to the new me. Hands open, surrendered, to be used by God through my strengths. I surrender all.

    • Beverly

      I, too, struggle with harsh self-talk. "A soft answer starts right here…" I had never thought about that verse in context of talking softly to myself. Thanks for this perspective, Kelly.

    • Megan

      Oh Kelly I laughed when I read your entry. Thank you for summarizing how I feel today! I am not good at loving myself, so I am reallyy good at harsh self talk. God bless you my friend in faith.

  • smithwendy62

    Gentleness is not weakness; it is not a personality bent, a sentimental fondness or passive quiet. It is a fruit of the Spirit which enables a believer to place the will of God before her own….wow this spoke to me….people see me as an extrovert but truly I am not…I am quiet but the quiet seems to scare those that do not know me …so I talk…those that know me are comfortable with me being quiet….gentle…don't let the world shape you…be gentle.

  • Just beautiful – and so convicting. Thank you!

  • churchmouse

    Just want to comment that yesterday I received the study packet for Women of the Word. It is beautiful and I can hardly wait to dig into it with all of you! (but I need to finish this one first – which I’m loving!) Thank you, SRT, for the tremendous care and effort you put into each and every study that we might learn and love our God more! Abundant blessings to you all!

  • This was beautiful and made more so because God knew I needed every word in it today. Yesterday was a fairly rotten day. Relationship with my middle is unique. She's an amazing kid, but given her challenges, empathy, obedience (in even small things) and selflessness don't come easily to her. I had a day that left me "feeling" all things, my heart posture was definitely off, so when my sweet girl was home and our "sometimes normalcy" ensued, it started. Gentle with my instruction and discipline at first, but consistently climbing a ladder to beyond gentle and by day's end I was worn, she was worn, the entire family was worn. Sometimes, I haven't a clue what to say to her, how to help or at times, how to show love in the way she needs it …. but this morning I am reminded that I don't need to know all the time….I just need to be gentle. The image of a stallion under control resonated with me. My sweet girl rides. Everything she doubts about herself disappears the minute she steps in the barn. She becomes confident, able and takes control. To remember how much control the horse willingly has to choose to ensure my girls safety, does remind me what it is to be gentle. So although I may not have the strength of a stallion, my words and actions carry great weight and they can either free or condemn. I must, in all things, remain under control. If Jesus, "with enough strength to control the weather", resists with ease and remains gentle at heart … then I must ensure my heart posture is set to gentle as well. ~ B

    • Sophia

      I love your reply. I too thought of my child with the reading of the first passage. I have a son. He is the youngest of 3 and he was born wanting to let the world know who he is. He and I have completely different personalities that lead to conflict. Everyday I try to prepare myself to approach him more gently. Not in anger or a raised voice, yet each day I fail and I feel like the worst parent. I want to parent my son by not squashing is very strong personality and breaking his spirit because he is a great son who is allowed to be different than I am. He may be more like me than I think. This passage on gentleness was so needed for me today and every day. As always thank you to all involved in She Reads Truth.

    • Maxine_R

      Its been a struggle with my 4 year old around here too, I find myself praying more often these days, "Lord help me, show me how to be the mother you want me to be, guide me" Praying I can become the example of gentleness and strength my son needs to see, my prayers are with you ladies!
      – Maxine

  • A Christlike gentleness is not clutching and grabbing for control. It is the spirit of following Jesus with hands and heart open, humble yet strengthened in Him….I like that…very much….humbled yet strengthened in Him…

    Lord,God, help me, guide me to be such a person…

    I love words…I just do…I love to use them, funny enough though, not so much in language or spoken, but in writing, and most especially on the scrabble board or crosswords….I love to find out meanings to words I have not heard before, not as intensely looking as some of you, my sister's…ie where the words come from, but just to know what they mean….

    Gentleness, until today has never been one to look up…as it kind of explains itself…but here's the thing, (and thank you Hannah and Candacejo), although the meaning in the dictionary tells you ….it does not explain deeply….or how the word came to be….for instance..the dictionary uses words like tenderness, compassion, consideration, sympathy, kindness, softness, mildness…all good and words I would love to be said of me…one day…lol…but actually…… to truly be the gentleness…The Fruit of the Spirit gentleness, you first need to understand the true meaning of the word…
    I love this…..Gentleness is not a weakness,… and as I remember the bible stories of Jesus…He was for sure gentle, but by no stretch of the imagination was He weak…He was gentle with the weak, the broken, the lost….but, wanting justice for these was not a weakness, there was strength in it, there was power, without harshness…without anger…..Proverbs 15:1,4 speak of words and how the way they are spoken, either inflame a situation, or crush a spirit….Jesus always strengthened with His words….THAT is not a weakness….I was reminded of Jesus' encounter with the tempter, in the wilderness…even in His weakness, without food, after 40 days, He was still able to control Himself…and spoke TRUTH from scripture to the tempter….

    Lord God, help me, direct me, in gentleness, in word, in action, in deed, to be more like Jesus….humbled, yet strengthened in Him…Amen….

    Happy Wednesday….Love and blessings Dear hearts….xxxx

  • melindawatters

    A Christlike gentleness is not clutching and grabbing for control. It is the spirit of following Jesus with hands and heart open, humble yet strengthened in Him.

    Through the power of the Holy Spirit may I let go of control and be filled with His fruit of gentleness.

    As a teacher of young children, I have many scenes in my life where this choice is played out. These children need and respond to gentleness, yet it feels as though they are regularly provoking my anger, as they test, poke and prod, because that is what young children do.

    My family also needs gentleness. Thank you Father that in my place of exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed you fill me with your gentleness. You are my place of rest. Your yoke is easy and burden is light.

    • Candacejo

      Taking the time to pray for you today in the midst of a busy transition. God is so near! ♥

    • Kelly_Smith

      Melinda, I feel like my kids squash my gentle fruit all.the.time! Proverbs 15:1 always brings conviction all over me! The truth that gentleness comes from the posture of my heart gives me hope for my harsh tongue.

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Praying right along with you! AMEN!!!!!!!

      Praying also for my fellow coworkers…..as the school year winds down, pressure rises and intensifies. May they turn to God and share His yoke and remember that He is our place of rest……

      • Celia

        I love this that there is immediate interaction. Thank u for the welcome – looking forward to making many new friends

    • Lilliana Camacho

      I hear you Melinda,I am also a teacher of 3’s and 4’s years old.This year is especially challenging for sure.

  • Candacejo

    I, too, always wanted to be gentle…someone who could tip-toe through tulips without squashing them. Instead, I was more like a locomotive barreling down the tracks, destroying everything in sight.

    I misunderstood the meaning of the word and did a study myself a couple years ago. I discovered the same Greek word and the Lord pointed me to the story where Miriam and Aaron thought God could speak to them as He did to Moses…they were upset with Moses for marrying an Egyptian woman and decided they could basically "take over".

    But Moses shows such meekness and gentleness before the Lord on their behalf…he didn't have to fight this battle! (You can read my version here if you like (the link is fixed!) http://www.hopeinthehealing.com/2013/10/12/meekne

    If we will display a continued spirit of meekness and gentleness we won't keep insisting on our own rights and we won't be continually seeking revenge on those that have wronged us.

    Lord help us today to take time to sit before You where our strength comes from! ♥

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Thank you! What a great reminder!

    • SusieT

      Candacejo, your example of Moses' gentleness, even when under persecution from his siblings (of all people) is very encouraging. It is SO true, as you pointed out, during difficulties (especially), we must leave the outcome to God. Blessings, dear Sister!!

    • Kelly

      Thanks for Candace! I loved your post! The Lord has been working in my heart regarding gentleness for sometime now. Your post really added to my understanding of gentleness. Thanks!

  • Hi I think the 1 Peter scripture has been misspelled, v4 not 14 :)

    • JES1215

      Thank you I've been so confused!

    • shereadstruth

      Good catch, friend! It has been corrected. Thanks for your grace!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

      • Beka

        Hi! I just an fyi – I still think the verses are incorrect. When you list all of the text verses it says I Peter 3:14-16 but I think it is supposed to be I Peter 3:4-6.

        In the devotional it is corrected but not up top with the whole list.

  • Great examples- thanks for sharing!!

  • When I studied the ancient Hebrew word for gentleness (because even though most of these passages came to us through Greek, they are all written by Hebrew speakers and thinkers) it had two surprising ideas associated with it:
    One is the idea of protective watching over, like a shepherd protecting a flock. The best example of this I can think of is from Is. 40:11:
    "He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
    and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young"
    Another surprising word that shares the same root is the word afflicted. I found this one fascinating. It made me think of how often in my life it takes affliction to cultivate meekness and gentleness.
    A shepherd is willing to be afflicted in order to protect his sheep. Am I willing to experience affliction so I can be gentle with those God places in my life? That's the challenge of gentleness.

    • melindawatters

      Am i willing to experience affliction? Really powerful thoughts and connections Hannah. Thank you for challenging me further in my meditation on gentleness..

    • MNmomma (heather)

      Oh wow Hannah! These are really powerful! Affliction to show gentleness…..yes!

    • Shannon H

      Thank you Hannah, for deepening my understanding and challenging me this morning! The verse in Isaiah has long been a favorite of mine, as a mother of young ones, but hadn’t given more thought than to the promise of His presence. The fruit of gentleness in my own heart comes from my savior shepherd, who watches carefully over me and protects me with his own life…it is He who makes it possible for me to act with meekness and gentleness toward others.

      • hannah

        You're welcome Shannon! I love how you phrased that about our Savior shepherd. That's a beautiful encapsulation!

    • Jenny R

      Wow! I really appreciate your insights the last few days!

    • Katie

      I think the willingness to experience affliction is similar to the surrender the article talks about. I love that idea!

      I definitely have more tendencies toward to control, but I’m intentionally seeking a surrendered life.

      Thanks for shining light on the journey, Hannah!

    • Brandie

      As a mom, I needed this. I needed the nudge that my words should be less than my actions in gentleness and be afflicted for the sake of my children.
      Thank you!

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