Fruit of the Spirit-Gentleness
Gentleness is another fruit of the Spirit. Rick Renner points out that this comes from the Greek word, ‘chrestotes,' which means to show kindness or to be friendly to others, and often depicted rulers, governors or people who were kind, mild, and benevolent to their subjects. Anyone who demonstrated this quality of 'chrestotes' was considered to be compassionate, considerate, sympathetic, humane, kind or gentle. The Apostle Paul, uses this word to depict God’s ‘incomprehensible kindness for people who are unsaved.
As one scholar says, gentleness means being adaptable to other like Paul, who became all things to all men so ‘that by all means, some may be saved, 1Cor. 9:22
The Passion Translation calls this ‘gentleness of heart,” this is the fruit of the Spirit that demands most from us. It means adopting a position where we effectively place ourselves third on the list – putting God and other people before ourselves. It is also tied with humility, where Jesus himself connects gentleness to humility in Matthew 11:29, when He says: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
There is power in gentleness to diffuse anger. In this almost uncivilized culture, of ‘I am right and you are wrong’ a gentle answer according to Proverbs 15:1, ‘will turn away wrath.’
Earlier in my 20’s and 30’s I would often react with anger, because I had unrecognized soul wounds. But God has given me a part of himself, Holy Spirit, and his fruits to transform my mind as well as my emotions. May He continue to refine us into Christ’s image!