As we read along in Galatians 5:22-23 and consider the next Fruit of the Spirit, Gentleness… I’ve been challenged to consider what Gentleness is. Initially, I considered gentleness with meekness, weakness and quietness. In fact, Gentleness is far from weakness.. Gentleness is the strength to control the power with us.
Jesus demonstrates this perfectly in John 8:3-11, a story where the Teachers of the Law, desperately try to trip Jesus up by trapping him with the law. What Jesus responds with is Grace. In this moment, Jesus makes it clear that He alone has the power to stone the woman caught in adultery, but instead of using that power to harm her, he had the strength to control his power.
Jesus had the power to condemn her, but the strength to forgive her.
He had the power to end her life, but the strength to let her live.
That strength is the gentleness of Jesus.
There is power within you. It’s gentleness that will determine how you use your power!
Spend some time considering the power within you. The power of your words, decisions, actions, responses. Do you have the strength to control that power within you, in a way that gives life and love to the community around you?
Gentleness requires strength. If you need more of it, ask God for it.
Questions for discussion:
1. Read John 8:3-11. What do you make of Jesus’ response?
2. How have you witnessed or experienced the gentleness and grace of Jesus?
3. What areas of your life would you like to develop the fruit of gentleness in?