As we look into the fruit of gentleness we will begin to understand the great depths that this particular fruit of the spirit reaches.
We will discover that it not only will add value and depth into our personal lives as Christ-followers
But it will also allow us to add that same value and depth into the lives of everyone that we encounter as well.
The fruit of gentleness is also translated as kindness in many versions of the Holy Bible.
In this piece, you will hear me interchanging or making use of both words… gentleness, and kindness as we move forward.
But trust God on this… There’s a whole lot more to the fruit of gentleness and kindness than meets the eye, my beloved friend.
Sometimes I like to start out a lecture by giving a biblical definition to the word or phrase that I’m writing about… This is one of those times.
And being that I start most of my studying out of the (KJV), The King James Version of the Bible… let us define the fruit of gentleness.
The Greek transliteration for the word gentleness is chrēstotēs and it is pronounced phonetically kray-stot’-ace.
The Thayer dictionary defines it as such…
Moral goodness, integrity.
Benignity, and kindness.
If you have a Strong’s Concordance you will discover that the word chrēstotēs gets its origin from the word chrēstos.
Chrēstos is defined as… Fit, fit for use or to be useful.
The second definition for chrēstos is defined as manageable and to be mild or gentle.
I hope you’re beginning to see why I say the fruit of gentleness has more to it than meets the eye.
But if not… I promise you if you keep reading or listening to this lecture you will see where my heart is on this one.
And my sincere hope is that you too will also discover some of the depths of the fruit of gentleness and kindness.
We Must Be Good Stewards.
You are probably asking yourself… What does gentleness or kindness have to do with being good stewards?
That’s a fair question.
So hang in there with me and you will soon see what I’m referring too.
Until recently I had never really realized that the fruit of the Spirit and good stewardship belonged in the same conversation.
I mean let’s face it… most of the times that the majority of the Body of Christ has been taught about stewardship, it has been on money or material possessions and properties.
But please don’t misunderstand me because it’s a good thing to be taught of… and learned.
The Bible talks a whole lot about money and possessions. And the truth of the matter is that it all belongs to God.
The bible tells us that the earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof… Even the whole world and all the people that live on the face of the earth are his.
That’s something to meditate on right there.
Now seeing that everything belongs to God… That to me tells me that we need to start looking at, stewardship and the things of this world a whole lot different than we have been.
Let’s Start With Gentleness.
When I set out to write about the fruit of gentleness… I must admit that it has not necessarily been on the top of my list of character traits to develop.
You see before when I thought about the fruit of gentleness or kindness most all of my thinking on the subject was usually about having that meek and mild demeanor.
But, I will say it again… the fruit of gentleness goes a lot deeper than meets the eye.
The fruit of gentleness and kindness helped me to understand that the fruit of the Spirit is something that we should be good stewards over as well.
Why do I say that?
Well, I say that because the fruit belongs to God just as I stated in the lecture concerning the fruit of patience.
And knowing that the fruit belongs to God just like everyone and everything in the world belongs to him… we can’t claim ownership of them.
Therefore we must learn to tend to the things of God just as if He was soon to come and see how we are doing with what he has left in our possession.
There are a couple of parables that the Lord Jesus taught us about proper stewardship and we find them in the gospel of Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:11-27.
We know them as the Parable of the Talents.
When we read about the parable of the talents in the Gospel According to Matthew… and as the Lord tells us the outcome of the unprofitable servant the teachings seems to change.
But in actuality what the Lord does is to place himself in the place of the worldly ruler and teaches us that gentleness, kindness and the giving of ourselves is the ultimate stewardship that God desires from us all.
One Act of Kindness Can Change Someone’s Life.
When we do acts of kindness or express gentleness of heart we are freeing ourselves from the worst type of bondage there is.
And that is the bondage to our own selfishness.
I don’t know if you have discovered this our not… But we as human beings are inherently selfish.
And yes my beloved… I understand that most of us don’t wish to hear that we are not perfect in all of our ways…
But we’re not my beloved friend.
As I said earlier when I started studying for this lecture on the fruit of gentleness I had no idea that gentleness and usefulness or stewardship belonged in the same conversation.
When we determine in our hearts that we wish to be used of God we must truly consider the fruit of gentleness.
We must allow ourselves through the grace of God to make room in our lives for generosity.
Generosity breeds kindness, gentleness, and hospitality.
Let’s look at a verse of the scripture that we find in 2 Timothy 2:21.
It reads like this…
If a man, therefore, purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, meet for the master’s use, prepared unto every good work.
Meet for the master’s use, prepared unto every good work is what I want to draw your attention to.
The word “meet” gets its origins from the of the same words that the word gentleness in Galatians 5:22 does.
Which simply means to be made fit for use or to be useful.
I hope you are beginning to see how setting our hearts and affections on growing in the character and grace of gentleness can have such an important role in our being used of God.
I say again it only takes one act of kindness or gentleness from the heart to change a life dramatically.
Gentleness Isn’t Natural.
Self-preservation and the survival of the fittest is the mindset that we come into this world with.
Our natural instinct is not that of gentleness or of that which we know of now as being fit to be used of God.
You see beloved if we are going to be fit to be used of God we are going to have to give up something.
And the thing is… if that something is going to make a lasting impression in a life, it has to be something of value…
It has to be something that you don’t want to depart with or at least something that’s not easy to part ways with.
God can do everything and he can use anything… Please keep that in mind as we move forward.
In Matthew 25 where we find the Parable of the Talents… Well, my beloved, it is in verse 31 where the Lord flips the script…so to speak.
Here we begin to understand what we should put more value in as the Lord does.
Let’s read a couple of verse together and see what I mean.
We will start in Mathew 25:35 where we discover these words of Jesus.
Because I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat.
I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink.
I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.
Now verse 36. I was naked, and you clothed me.
I was sick, and you took care of me.
I was in prison, and you visited me.’
This my dear friend is the fruit of gentleness at its best.
But here’s the deal my friend.
The Lord is not telling us that we have to do all of these things on a constant basis… or all at once.
However, it would be nice to be able too.
But he’s not asking us to do that.
What he is asking us to do is to surrender to his will and authority that he might make us fit to be used of him when the occasion presents itself.
We find the verses in that same chapter that clarifies what I am led to understand and believe.
Mathew 25:37-40 we get an understanding of what storing up treasures in heaven really looks like.
We began our reading in verse 37.
“Then the righteous will say to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you something to eat, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
Verse 38. When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or see you naked and clothe you?
Verse 39. When did we see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’
And verse 40. The king will answer them, ‘I tell all of you with certainty, since you did it for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.’
Did you get that? The part about since you did it for one of the least important of these brothers of mine… you did it for me.
You see my friend one act of kindness can change the trajectory of a life tremendously.
More On Gentleness
I would be remiss if I didn’t also point out that not only will expressing the fruit of gentleness have an impact on the lives of those God send us to or bring unto us…
It will also have a great impact on our lives here and now and especially when we are ushered into the next life.
Here is the promise that we find in Mathew 25:34.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who have been blessed by my Father!
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
That my beloved is mighty powerful stuff.
Now as we draw near to the conclusion of this lecture on the fruit of kindness it’s only appropriate that we look at few acts of the gentleness and compassion of our Lord Jesus.
I mean, after all, he is our greatest example of everything that’s good.
And besides that… I believe with all of my heart that the word of God speaks and expresses itself better than anyone else can.
Yet I believe that I still should give you little commentary on what the verse pertains to in the scriptures though.
So, with that said…
This is where we find the incident where the lady was taken in adultery by the Pharisees and Scribes.
This is a fascinating story because of how ill-treated women we’re in those days.
I’ve always wondered where was the man that she was carrying on with. Hmmm.
Nevertheless, after the Lord spoke a few words to show them where their hearts were… they all dropped their stones an went away.
Here’s what happened between the young woman and the Lord Jesus.
Verse 10 reads like this…
Then Jesus got up, and seeing nobody but the woman, he said to her, Where are the men who said things against you? did no one give a decision against you?
And now verse 11. And she said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said, And I do not give a decision against you: go, and never do wrong again.
That was a life saved and a life remade.
This is one of my most favorite encounters that the Lord shares with us…
It’s what we know of as The Woman at The Well.
There is so much that we learn from this story. But what really intrigues me of this one is how accepting and gentle the Lord is to a woman who was the talk of the town.
And not in a good way I might add.
Here was a woman that was rejected and looked upon with much contempt and disdain.
If you recall the bible tells us that the Lord had a need to go through Samaria.
Truly going through Samaria to reach Galilee was the most expedient route… But I also believe that there was also a higher purpose as well.
Which was to be… The evangelism of the Samaritans.
The bible tells us after the conversation the Lord shared with the Samaritan woman that she dropped her water pots and ran back to her town and told all that she could about her encounter with the Messiah.
As I said earlier there is so much to learn from this encounter between the Lord and the Samaritan woman.
Yet, I will only point out a few of them before we move forward to the next act of kindness that I wish to share with you.
So, what are some of the great things that we learn from this discourse?
1. We learn and see that the Lord was not willing to view her in the same way as her townsfolk.
He treated her with respect and kindness even though he knew what type of life she had been living.
You see her lifestyle caused her to have to draw water around noonday to keep from being harassed by the other women of her community.
2. Even though she continued to dodge the truth and try not to discuss the sin in her life… The Lord was patient and kind to her and not condemning.
3. The next thing that I wish to point out is that after the Lord told her all about herself and what he wanted to give her…
She became the first evangelist for Christ to the Samaritan people.
4. This is the 4th and final thing that I wish to share with you concerning the woman at the well.
Now if you recall after the Samaritan woman went and spread the good news about the Lord Jesus the townsfolk wanted him to stay a few days and teach them more about the Kingdom of God.
So the bible tells us that he did stay for another two days in the Samaritan town of Sychar.
But here’s one of the greatest takeaways from this encounter. And it is when the townsfolk told the Samaritan woman that they didn’t believe that the Lord was the Christ because she said so…
They believed because they heard him for themselves.
This my beloved is also what we must do as well.
We need to hear the voice of the Lord for ourselves.
Okay, beloved, we are almost there…
Now the next act of gentleness that I want you to see is found in three of the gospels.
We find it in Mathew 9:20, Mark 5:25 and also in the gospel according to Luke chapter 8 verses 43 thru 48.
This would be none other than the story of…
The woman with the issue of blood.
This too is a story of the kindness and compassion of our Lord.
The bible tells us of a woman that suffered from a menstrual flow for 12 long years.
This is something that only happens to the average woman for 2 to 7 days per month Statistically.
I can’t begin to imagine the anguish and suffering this woman was going through.
The Bible tells us that she sought many doctors for help and that she had spent all the money she had for potions and other remedies to no avail.
She was desperate…
And not to mention the contempt and rejection that she received from her community.
She was looked upon with contempt and as unclean as a leper.
Anyone associated with her or made physical contact with her would be deemed as unclean also.
You can learn more about this in Leviticus 15.
Her miracle was on the way.
Notice the compassion and power of our Lord Jesus.
The bible teaches us that when the Lord returned from delivering the man possessed with many devils a large crowd awaited him and we’re glad to see him.
The crowd was large an everyone wanted a touch or a word from the Lord.
As he was making his way through the town there was one from the synagogue by the name of Jairus that desired that the Lord would come to his house and heal his daughter.
The Lord agreed to do so… But on his way to the man’s house, the woman with the issue of blood realized her opportunity and of a chance of being healed.
The Bible tells us that she said to herself… that if I could just touch the hem of his garment… I can be made whole.
So she made her way through the crowd not caring about the dirty looks that the townsfolk were giving her.
And as she made the connection with the Lord her body was healed and her life was changed forever.
After all, was said and done let’s see what the Lord had to say to her.
We will look at it in Luke 8 verse 48.
And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort… thy faith hath made thee whole. Go in peace.
Read more about it in Luke 8:43 thru 48.
Surely there are more acts of kindness, gentleness… compassion, and generosity of our Lord Jesus found throughout the gospels.
As followers and imitators of Christ… Listen… We may not be used to raise the dead… Or even stop a menstrual flow of blood.
And yet we can’t count those things out either… Because God can do anything and he can use us in any way that he wants to… That is… if we are willing and obedient.
So, as we ponder the gentleness and goodness of the Lord Jesus let us do as we are admonished in Ephesians 4:32 where we receive this instruction.
And be you kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.
Well, beloved, that’s going to do it for this lecture on Character Building Fruit… The Fruit of Gentleness.
But please always remember to…
Keep up the good practice…
and experience the power of God…
Giving you a new life…