A beauteous grace!
"The fruit of the Spirit is . . . gentleness" Galatians 5:22-23
GENTLENESS is one of the fruits of the Spirit. If we have the Spirit of Christ — we bear this fruit. "Well," says one, "in my very make-up — I am rough, harsh, and severe." If so, you need to be made anew. When God finds a man who is rough, harsh, and severe in his make-up — He will, as the man yields to the operation of the Holy Spirit — make him mild, gentle, and peaceful.
People go to a hospital and by an operation, have abscesses and tumors removed from the internal parts. Just so, God, by a blessed, wonderful, and successful operation of the Holy Spirit — will take that roughness, harshness, and severity out of your nature — and instill mildness, tenderness, softness, and gentleness instead. Harshness and roughness are a corruption that God, in His gracious plan of salvation — is pleased to remove. As the Holy Spirit works in you that which is pleasing in God's sight — He will make you gentle.
What is gentleness? It is humility, softness, mildness and meekness. It is the opposite of harshness, roughness, severeness etc. It is sweetness of disposition, mildness of temper, softness of manner, kindness, tenderness, etc. Those who are of a gentle disposition — act and speak without harshness. They are not morose, sour, crabbed, and wavering — but are smooth, mild, and steadfast. Good manners are intimately connected with gentleness, and good manners are no dishonor to Christianity. The apostle Paul by way of testimony said to the Thessalonian saints, "We were gentle among you — like a mother caring for her little children." 1 Thessalonians 2:7. Such was his manner. As a kind mother is to a delicate child — so was he to those whom he loved.
Vastly different was he then — from what he was when he was persecuting and destroying the church of God! He had been changed by grace. He exhorts pastors to "be gentle unto all men" (2 Timothy 2:24) and to be "gentle, showing all meekness unto all men" (Titus 3:2). David, in his sublime tribute of praise to God in 2 Samuel 22:36 says, "Your gentleness has made me great."
Would you, my reader, like to be more gentle in your manner? Are you too harsh and rough? Are you, if a parent — as gentle to your children as you should be, at all times? Husband, are you as kind and gentle toward your wife as you should be? Do you believe that you come up to the Bible measure in this particular? Or do you have impatient feelings and act in a hasty, abrupt manner towards them? If you meet with something quite provoking from your wife or the children — do you keep as mild and sweet as you know you should?
Now, I hope you will examine closely. I do not mean to condemn you; I want to help you. There are many professing saints today, who are not nearly as gentle as they should be. Why not be in earnest, and seek God for help, and make improvement? Why go along with crossness, and coldness and snappishness in your life? Be gentle toward all.
Gentleness is a beauteous grace. Her excellence is great. By culture, this grace is capable of much improvement. Too few saints experience it to the extent that they should. I beseech you by the gentleness of Jesus (2 Corinthians 10:1) — to be in earnest and improve upon your gentleness. Never allow a frown or a scowl to settle for a moment upon your brow! It will leave its mark, if you do so. Learn to be gentle — especially in your home.
"Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart." Matthew 11:29
"Be completely humble and gentle." Ephesians 4:2
"Let your gentleness be evident to all." Philippians 4:5
"But you, man of God . . . pursue . . . gentleness." 1 Timothy 6:11
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved — clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12