It’s a virtue.
It’s a weapon.
It requires true patience and compassion.
What is this “it”? Gentleness.
During the month of November, I’ve been studying gentleness as a fruit of the Spirit. The first thing I thought when the month began was that gentleness was a bit like patience: it’s a well-lauded virtue, yet still slightly overshadowed by “more prominent” virtues like love, joy, or peace. But I couldn’t have been more wrong.
After a few weeks’ study, I’ve grown to realize that gentleness is actually one of the most powerful virtues out of the nine fruits of the Spirit. And, in light of recent events surrounding Ferguson, Missouri, gentleness is a virtue that we could certainly stand to use more of in our society. Oftentimes, gentleness is put on the back-burner. On the virtuous extreme, everyone wants to exhibit grand gestures of love, kindness, or faithfulness; on the worldly extreme, the world screams, “Be loud! Be assertive! Stand your ground! Fight!” Meanwhile, gentleness is in the background, quietly waiting to be put into action, whispering, “Listen. Be gentle. Be calm. Be patient.” It’s not easily understood, but truthfully, gentleness is an important component of what makes a society – and an individual – truly great. Not “great,” as in a great, or fantastic, person to be around. But great – as in someone who is an influential warrior who wins in life for Christ and His kingdom. Continue reading