Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Galatians 6:1
… let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 4:3
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29
…to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. Titus 3:2
Gentleness is one of the hallmarks of a Christian who knows Jesus and reflects His character traits. Matthew 12:20 gives us the perfect picture of how Jesus deals with us in gentleness, “a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, til he leads justice to victory.”
Bruised reeds and smoldering wicks are people who are hurting, spiritually weak or weak in faith. Jesus does not condemn us for our weaknesses and rule breaking, but in gentleness leads us to the place where we need to be. Not only is this Jesus’ way for dealing with his people, it is our pattern when we are dealing with others. Paul’s appeals to the church at Corinth are a good example of this kind of Christ-like behavior. He didn’t demand that they obey him or Christ. In doing this he exercised the spiritual gift of Gentleness.
Genuine Christians treat others with gentleness in all areas. A Pharisee-like Christian will adhere to rules and laws in favor of offering grace in gentleness to those who are struggling. They are always asking, “Is it in line with the law?” The gentle person asks, “Is it kind or the right thing to say or do?” I’ve been in churches where the leadership and other Christians nearly destroyed brothers and sisters with their lack of gentleness in dealing with sin and failings. But Church life isn’t the only area where lack of gentleness is obvious.
How tactful are you in your own speech? Some people think it is a mark of honesty to be blunt and abrupt in their speech. Are we not to answer all people with sensitivity and consideration? I personally know people who are blunt and yet tactful and kind with their words. Often though, bluntness and lack of tact can be signs that we are impatient and thinking only of ourselves and just want to get our message out. When we think of others first, we use gentle words… no matter how desperate the situation. If you tend to be blunt and tactless, examine yourself for motives.
How gentle are you in dealing with those who fail?
How much compassion do you show those who are involved in sin?
Are you gentle with your spouse when he fails in some way?
What about that elusive Gentle Spirit? Do you have a gentle spirit? Are you, at your very core, gentle and kind? Paul compares gentleness to a mother nursing her baby. You who have nursed or bottle-fed your little babies, you know what that means. You can bring back to your mind those feelings of care and protectiveness. This is the gentleness we are use in dealing with others. That amazes me! I don’t naturally feel that way toward others, do you? And because of that, the Spirit moves to give us the fruit of gentleness with His presence in our lives. He gently leads us so that we can treat others with gentleness.
If you ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of every time gentleness is needed, He will do so. First though you have to decide that you want to be gentle. You will have to let go of your love of rules and regulations. You will have to put people first, just like Jesus did if you want to care for people and show gentleness.
“Let your gentleness be known to all.”