I am probably going to ask more questions than I answer today. It’s one of those mornings where the puzzler and mystery seeker in me is active and alert. So, I was in conversation recently about what the Bible calls, The “Fruits of the Spirit.” The idea comes from when Paul was writing to a church in Galatia and was teaching them that when they enter an intimate relationship with God, He begins to produce fruit in their lives.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
The conversation took a turn to talk about the fruits that were not strongly present in my own life. I honestly was enjoying the conversation far better when we were talking about the ones that were present and growing. So, I had to turn my thinking mind on and get honest with myself. The one that jumped out to me the strongest, was gentleness.
I am not the most gentle person and my spirit is not always gentle either. So I started to riffle through my mind to find a person that exudes gentleness. I remembered a woman I recently met with that was a vision of gentleness. I met with her for the first time and the hour that is spent with her was one of gentleness in every way. Her physical presence was gentle, in the way she moved and held herself. Her words wer gentle, even when delivering difficult truth. Her spirit was gentle, as she interacted with me and others.
So, its got me thinking…how do you develop gentleness? I can think of the opposite – harshness, cruelty, brashness – and even see where those operate in my life. The woman I described to you that was a vision of gentleness somehow developed that in her life. But how? According to Paul, it is when I am in intimate relationship with God that He begins to develop these things in me, including gentleness. If I’m being honest, the idea of asking God to develop gentleness in me seems somehow dangerous. I think I have embraced cruelty, harshness, and brashness for much of my life as a defensive wall and isolation strategy.
So, I suppose that God and I get to start at square one and look at Hin developing gentleness in me. I’m not totally certain what this journey will look like, but I’m always up for an adventure!