When we think of gentleness, our minds often go to instructions we give children on how to pet an animal, or advertising for dish soap, but as a fruit of the Spirit, there must be more to it than that.
The word from the original language of the New Testament that is translated as “gentleness” doesn’t connote “meekness”, as some older translations put it; commonly, according to one commentator, the term was used to describe a person in whom strength and gentleness would meet.
That commentator goes on to say that gentleness often refers to one with a humble disposition that submits to God’s will, and is associated with such characteristics as love, forbearance, patience, humility, and avoiding quarrels.
I wouldn’t mind being known for gentleness when I grow up, that’s for sure!
The apostle Paul gives this encouragement to Titus, as he oversees a young church: “Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone” (Titus 3.1-2, NLT).
Maybe in these days, especially, gentleness is an important character trait for us to develop. Give it a shot, with God’s help.