But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
Galatians 5:22-23 ESV
by Gwen Williams
The Bible speaks often about the characteristics of those who follow God. These characteristics, attitudes and behaviors that are a part of who we are as human beings, also show who we are as believers. The Holy Spirit guides us in these things and if we open our hearts to this guidance, we can live according to His word and His purpose for our lives.
There are many characteristics of those who follow God, and some very important ones are called the Fruit of the Spirit. What are these characteristics and how do we reflect them in our daily lives? The fruit of the Spirit are attributes of the Christian life and we reflect them by walking in a way that honors God in our every day.
There are nine attributes that the Holy Spirit produces, however the one that I choose to share with you, is the one that I fervently work on everyday and that’s gentleness.
What is gentleness? Gentleness is tender, understanding, patient and kind, but please know it’s not weakness. It’s becoming meek in the midst of your every day. It chooses to be other-focused, rather than focused on self. It forgives without judgment. It allows us to kindly confront in love. Gentleness is living in peace.
What does God’s word say about this unique fruit? Gentleness is guiding a friend away from a possible mistake or regret and restoring them –
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6:1 ESV
The book of James speaks about the gentleness that wisdom brings.
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. James 3:13 ESV
Proverbs shares that arguments can be avoided by using gentle words.
A soft answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:1 ESV
The Apostle Paul urges us to clothe ourselves in mercy, kindness, gentleness, humility and patience
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Colossians 3:12 ESV
While Peter talks about the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.
But 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 3;4 ESV
In this, we see that gentleness doesn’t stand alone, but is such a significant part of God’s guidance in our relationship with Him, with others and with ourselves. It works in harmony with the other fruit and helps usher in the best outcome in our every day.
It’s also about love. All the fruit of the Spirit are held in place by love. Gentleness may lose battles, but it helps win the overall struggles. Life’s wounds may cause us to operate out of fear, but love ties all the fruit together and can create healing – emotionally and spiritually. The gentle grace He gives us shows that this is also a journey He wants to walk alongside us.
It’s not our natural instinct to be kind and gentle. We need the Spirit to give us that ability when it’s hardest to be that way. If we focus on learning to love as Jesus loved, all of the other fruit of the Spirit will follow. Imagine the joy that will release in your soul! Gentleness is an aspect of God’s character, which His followers take on as they follow Him.
When we consider displaying the fruit of gentleness, it also walks hand in hand with grace. Showing grace and receiving grace. Receiving grace that covers all of our shortcomings, while also choosing to show grace to those who need it the most.
Are there days when we don’t honor God the way we should? His grace covers us.
Are there times when someone has spoken words that are untrue? Show grace because that person may be hurting.
Those times you feel like you don’t belong…grace. Allow the gentleness, the grace given to you, to flow through you to others.
In the very beginning, the fruit of the Spirit was planted in us and in order for them to grow, we must nurture them. During some of life’s challenging situations, it can be difficult to share these attributes. But striving with all we have to embrace these attributes can bring us closer to God and allow them to flow freely from the heart.
Gwen Williams is a writer, advocate and fan of travel and food. She loves to inspire women to take steps toward developing a healthy body, soul and spirit. She also works with those who have experienced trauma and feels part of her calling is to help the hurting.
She encourages self-care and empowers women through the word; her inspiration comes from other women who have been prayer warriors and an amazing support system throughout her life’s journey.
Gwen enjoy finding charming cafes, strolling through farmer’s markets, discovering treasures at thrift stores and experiencing retreats that help her become her best self. She is also a newly certified yoga teacher and a contributor to various ministry blogs.
Gwen Williams is a contributing writer at Real Women Ministries
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