The Fruit Of The Spirit
By Sandy Simpson
Lesson 1 - Love
Lesson 2 - Joy
Lesson 3 - Peace
Lesson 4 - Patience
Lesson 5 - Kindness
Lesson 6 - Goodness
Lesson 7 - Faithfulness
Lesson 8 - Gentleness
Lesson 9 - Self-control
LESSON 8 - GENTLENESS
Biblical Examples Of Gentleness
1 Thes. 2:6-8 We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.
Paul is mentioned in the Word as being an example of gentleness. Now we don't normally think of Paul as being gentle, as certainly his character before he was saved was the opposite of gentleness. He was a man who delighted in persecuting Christians and even stood by as Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, was stoned to death. But when Jesus Christ reached out and saved him on the road to Damascus, Paul began to be a changed man. That is what a relationship with Jesus Christ and believing in Him as your Savior and Lord will do for you. It will change you. I am not the same person I was when I was 21, and neither is anyone else who has been saved. The indwelling Holy Spirit changes the believer!
To be gentle is defined in the dictionary as: kindly, amiable, mild not severe, rough or violent, honorable, respectable, polite, refined, noble. But we also have a definition of what gentle means in the verses we just read about the apostles.
(1) "Not looking for praise from men". Those who are gentle do not look for fame and applause for what they say and do. They do what they do because they "do it unto the Lord".
1 Pet. 4:11 If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.
Any true believer knows that it is God to whom belongs all the praise. When we serve the Lord, we truly serve Him and not ourselves. This lets out most of the preachers on TV who make a big show but do not have a gentle spirit that does not look for praise from men. The kind of attitude of many modern preachers today does not reflect the fruit of the Spirit that was in the original apostles.
(2) "We were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children." Gentleness is illustrated most commonly and most accurately by the picture of a mother caring for her children. A mother does not throw her young children at the wall, does not allow them to go out and play in the street, does not ignore their needs.