Mark 11:29 "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." My first thought about the word gentleness was that I should to be nice to people, speak in a soft tone, to be loving towards everyone, always smile, try to be helpful, and just have genuine love for people. This was my personal definition of how I though gentleness should pertain to me.
In order to gain a better understanding of gentleness and how it should be applied in our daily living, the Holy Spirit guided me to look up the synonyms and antonyms of the root word “gentle” to try to clearly understand and identify the characteristics and behaviors of how we, as Christians should bear the fruit of gentleness. I must admit I was so surprised at what was revealed! I said to myself… I Thank God for His Gentleness towards me! There are four areas we could focus on as we grow, learn, improve, and bear the fruit of gentleness. That is through: our words, our tone, our attitude, and our thoughts.
1. Our Words
The tongue has the power to break the spirit of another person. In times like these we need to be mindful of others. What comes out of our mouth should be a reflection of Jesus Christ. His words are soft and peaceful. Gentle fruit. Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
Our tone plays a huge role in how we communicate --particularly with the unsaved, but also with those who are saved. A message or response may not be well received if we are not careful of our tone. People immediately shut down and become defensive. How do you think Peter and Andrew would have responded if Jesus said...”Hey, Hey… your wasting your time on that boat catching fish, I need to show you how to fish for people”? …. But I can imagine that Jesus said it with a compassionate, kindness, and with softhearted voice “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men (Matt 4:19).
3. Our Attitude
Sometimes our attitude impacts our ability to be gentle. It can harden our hearts, make us surly, or bad-tempered, disagreeable, a lack of compassionate, or even agitated.
4. Our Thoughts
We have to stay in control of our thoughts. Our thoughts influence our attitudes…. Our attitude is a reflection of our words and our tone. Philippians 4:8 says “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise”. This will help us to be compassionate, to be pleasant, and kind, and sweet-tempered to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Gentleness is an extremely important fruit. Our words, tone, attitude, and thoughts can help us bear this fruit. As Christians we must remember that those who are unsaved expect to see the Christ in us, hear the Christ in us, and experience Christ’s gentle characteristics through us. For every action we make, every facial expression, our breathing pattern, or any response or action we make should be a reflection of how gentle Christ is to us. Jesus did not forceful speak. He was very gentle even until the end.