Week 8: Gentleness

Published October 26, 2012 by Ashley Townsend

The week of Gentleness brought to mind a few ideas; it reminded me of Kindness and Goodness, so once again I was faced with the dilemma of trying to come at this week from a different angle. I mean, it’s singled out like the other eight Fruits, so obviously there is a reason for that. My problem was figuring out just what that reason was, exactly. So I went back to my mental checklist, going over the similar characteristics, and somehow the term “meek” popped into my head as a synonym. But, stubborn as I am, I pretty much shrugged it off, because that adjective brings to mind one word: weak. And I did not think that you all would take too kindly to me telling you to be weaklings, and it just didn’t seem right.

“The meek shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5

But meek was the term that kept showing its face in the pile of Kindness, Goodness, Love, and Patience. So I did a little research and was reminded of the verse above. I still wasn’t getting it. Okaaaaay, so we let ourselves get plowed over and stand down, and that means we’re deserving? That did not seem right (I’ve learned during this challenge to trust my gut and keep digging; I usually discover what I’m looking for). Then I looked up the definition of Gentle. The first few definitions didn’t surprise me much (kind, amiable, moderate, etc.). But then it stated that Gentleness implies being of good birth, honorable, respectable, to ennoble; dignify. All right, I could deal with that. And then it defined Gentle in a way that really threw me: entitled to a coat of arms. Are you trying to tell me that by being meek and Gentle—weak, by my assumption—one is actually embodying strength? Ka-pow! That was my mind being blown. The two seem completely opposite to me, but there it was. Then I looked at this verse again and realized that different translations make it clear that if God’s people are humble and honorable servants, then He will give the earth to them. I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty hefty promise.

Being Gentle doesn’t mean that you have to by weak or feeble-minded. No. It means embodying a Gentle strength that that will win battles and rule nations—some of the greatest wars are not always fought with brute force. Gentleness also requires you to put your Kindness and Love and Goodness back into practice, but I also think it means that you have to use wisdom to know when to remain silent and when God is calling you to act.       

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