Gentleness

There was a time when ladies and gentlemen were considered to be somehow different from ordinary men and women. Their qualities were attributed to their race or high birth. But the Bible tells us that this is not so, and that gentleness comes from within, by walking in the spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

We live in a world that glorifies the fast and the furious, the bold and the beautiful, the rich and the famous. But the Bible speaks of the virtues of gentleness. It is regarded as a weapon that can be used to disarm a violent opponent. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1) When we are arguing about our faith, we are told to do so with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)

St Paul, in most of his letters, whether to the new churches or to individuals, has advised his readers to be completely humble and gentle; to be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2, 1 Timothy 6:11, Titus 3:2)

St Paul also desires that the gentleness of God’s chosen people be clearly evident to all. (Philippians 4:5) He tells them to be clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12) Surely, a person dressed in such an attire would stand out in a crowd as someone different from the rest.

If Jesus is our role model, then we should emulate him with regard to his humility and gentleness. (2 Corinthians 10:1) We should do what he said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29) The beauty of our inner self, of a gentle and quiet spirit, is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:4)

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