There are nine defined fruits of the spirit that Galatians teaches us, and today we are going to be talking about the fruit of gentleness. (Galatians 5:22)
Colossians 3:12 says “Clothe yourselves with…gentleness.” The grace of gentleness is a true Christian virtue. Gentleness can sometimes be confused with meekness. Dr. Billy Grahams defines gentleness as, “mildness in dealing with others,” and further said “ never to be unfeeling for the rights of others.”
The difference between gentleness and meekness is that gentleness is an active trait in contrast to meekness, which is more of a passive trait.
Christ puts it this way. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
This is another way of saying that Christ gives us rest in the midst of our troubles. It does not make us weak if we seek after Him. So if Christ treats us with gentleness, we too should treat others the same way. Developing gentleness demonstrates respect for the other person.
This type of attitude will avoid gossip, and pursues oneself to “Clothe themselves always with a gentle spirit.” This spiritual trait does not come over night, but it is practiced daily in faith. As we continue to walk out our salvation, we ask in prayer for God to help us be gentle to ourselves as well as to others. We help others through words of encouragement. We build and edify one another in order to stay strong in the Lord.