Tuesday, September 20, 2011
THE FRUIT OF GENTLENESS
The Greek word for gentleness as used in Galatians 5:22 is: ‘Chrestotes’ it means moral excellence (in character & demeanour (Outward behaviour: somebody's behaviour, manner, or appearance, especially as it reflects on character). To be gentle means to be discreet, prudent, compelled by wisdom (not just knowledge), knowing what to do and how to do it at all times. It also means to be sober (thoughtful). It really takes the Holy Spirit to be gentle. In one word, gentleness means wisdom (See James 3:13-18, NLT). Ultimately, being gentle means actively walking in the Wisdom of God – not just having it, but actively walking in it.
“Ladies and gentlemen” is an official way we address an audience both formally and informally. It’s quiet ridiculous to address a crowd as gentle people. Calling everyone gentle could just be as funny as calling everyone wise! The world’s definition of gentleness is totally different from the Bible’s just like it is with the word ‘love’. We must be very careful about using the dictionary to define spiritual things. The closest definition of gentleness, out of all other definitions given by the dictionary is having a gracious and honourable manner [Manner of life, lifestyle].
Gentleness is not quietness or taciturnity even though they could be virtues of a gentle person. A gentle man is known by the results he produces. You don’t know gentleness by just outward display – but result! Real gentleness starts from the heart and then reflects on the outside. Even though Gentleness doesn’t mean quietness, it has a lot to do with how we use our words. A gentle man is conscious of his use of words (James 3:2; 1:19; Col. 4:6).
WHO IS A GENTLE PERSON? – Gentleness can be identified (Philippians 4:5).
1. One who is born again (Every saint has the fruit of gentleness. We just need to grow in it).
2. One who has received The Holy Spirit, yields to Him and walks with Him.
3. A person who walks in practical wisdom – Prudence. He’s driven by the force of wisdom (Phil. 4:5, NKJV)
4. A person who has strength of character – the entire fruit of the spirit is the character of the Christian.
5. A person who always knows what to do in every situation – He’s never stuck! (Col.1:9-11).
6. A person who has control over his life by controlling his tongue (James 3).
7. A person who maintains a disciplined prayer life – His stability comes from his fellowship with the Lord.
Jesus Christ is our perfect example of a gentle life just as in all other fruit of the spirit.
AREAS OF FOCUS IN DEVELOPING THE FRUIT OF GENTLENESS
1. Words: Col. 4:6 “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (NKJV).
2. Actions: Philip. 4:5 says “Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.” (NKJV). A gentleman always thinks before acting and not vice versa.
3. Understanding: Eph. 5:17 “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
4. Time Mastery: A gentle man never goes late for an event because he has mastered the use of his time.
5. Value: A gentle man understands true value and so doesn’t waste his time, energy or resources on things that don’t produce value.
6. Discernment: A gentleman is always discerning. He knows what to do at all time since he’s always keen to the voice of the Spirit.
7. Integrity: A gentleman or woman is known for doing what is right (doing the Word) no matter the cost.
The more gentle you become, the lesser the mistakes you make – Gentleness is Christian maturity! The strength of a gentleman is in how keen he is to the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit. How we need to be gentle in the world and time we live in today. It will change everything about us!
How do we grow the fruit of gentleness in our lives?
1. By knowing and yielding to the Holy Spirit!
2. Always pray Col. 1:9-11 for yourself. Also spend time praying in the Holy Ghost – it keeps your spirit keen.
3. Consciously cultivate it by doing the Word.
4. Develop a conscious of it by confessing it daily. E.g. “I’m walking in gentleness today in the Name of Jesus.”
“Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel--rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1Peter 3:3,4 (NKJV).