“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:8
Gentleness is such a difficult fruit to bear. Gentleness is meekness, humility. Let’s start with the “artificial fruit”. Some of the things that LOOK like gentleness, but are not really, are things like being shy, quiet, “easy to get along with”, and having false modesty.
Gentleness is not an outward manner, but an inward spirit. That spirit leads to our actions. In Matthew 5:5 it says “blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth”. That is a big blessing. Meekness comes from knowing who you are in Christ. We take our security from him.
Whether you know who your are in Christ or if you deny who you are in Christ- either one will affect the way you treat other people. When we are secure in Him, we are not hypersensitive to what others say about us; we can be vulnerable and admit that we are sinners. We can be mild mannered, and not retaliate. We are connected to all of the other fruit.
Christ is our example of humility. Philippians 2:5-11 is a beautiful description of Christ’s servanthood and humility. His death on the cross was the ultimate act of humility. He was not thinking of himself. CS Lewis says that “humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s not thinking of yourself at all. You don’t factor into the equation.” When you are not thinking about yourself, and not worried about yourself, you can be very gentle towards others.
So what is the weed? It is selfish ambition, or self-seeking. You can see how these would choke out gentleness. Is it bad to look out for yourself or to have goals? No. But are those goals in line with scripture? How are you going about achieving them?
Think on these things and try and go about it with meekness and humility. Don’t get discouraged; pride and self-seeking are so very hard to combat. God is constantly breaking us of sin and pride. As your view of sin gets bigger, the cross will get bigger. Remember your Savior and his grace. He will help you become a gentle person!
Who do you know that is an example of gentleness?