Fruit of the Spirit, Gentleness

A Gentle Manner

Ephesians 4:1,2

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.

How do you explain gentleness? My first thought was when a new-born comes into the family and big brother/sister want to hold or cuddle them they are told “be gentle with him/her”. It’s in a touch and a tone of voice. We sometimes refer to a person being ‘a gentle soul’, or a real ‘gentle’man, meaning there was something about his whole demeanour. It is this latter one that is probably closest to the biblical meaning.

The Greek word is Praos or Praës, meaning gentle, humble, mild. I am using Strong’s Concordance for explaining this word because it gives such a beautiful description.

Praetes denotes meekness. It consists not in a person’s outward behaviour only, or in his relations to his fellow-men. Rather it is an inwrought grace of the soul and the exercises of it are first and chiefly towards God. It is that temper of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, without disputing or resisting. The meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend them against injustice. The gentle are not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will.

Meekness is not weakness; it is a strength beyond measure because it comes from God himself. So when we walk in humility, fully acknowledging our own failings, we can bear with one another in love, patience and gentleness.

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