Tag Archives: Gentleness

The Fruit of the Spirit, pt. 8; Meekness…

This is one of my favorite aspects of the fruit of the Spirit.  One of the reasons I like it so much is that the word, praotes in the Greek, “gentleness,” also translated “meekness,” is very much misunderstood in this day and age, and the real meaning is so rich.  We have such a pansy idea of what “meek” is; notice that it is often paired together “meek and mild.”

We all tend to think of the verse, “the meek shall inherit the earth,” and forget that Jesus Himself was described as “meek.”  Well… do you find Jesus weak or mild, or someone that was a pushover?  He is God.  So, how can Jesus be “meek” and also be God?  Of course it is because we are not thinking of the right definition.

What does it mean to “meek” or gentle a horse?  Does that mean that we take all the strength and power away from it?  Of course not.  Meekness is controlled power.  When a horse takes a bit and a rider, and the two work as one, that is meekness.  Horses are incredibly powerful, and as their power is directed by a rider, they gain purpose and are able to grow stronger and do so much more than a wild horse.

When a believer is meek, we are powerful and directed by God Himself.  When we are gentled, we can serve God in tandem with His wishes.  The flipside of this, is that it takes a good horseman to properly train and utilize the power of a horse.  We have the best trainer possible; the Holy Spirit.  If we yield to Him, He shall make us useful to God in purpose and direction.  The great thing is, being an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit, it takes no “effort” on our part, the Spirit produces gentleness in us.

There are war horses, and plow horses… show horses, and jumpers.  Each kind is trained differently and each has their role to play.  None of them are weak.  In humans, being meek is not being a door mat, quite the opposite.  Being meek is being assured of one’s strength, and allowing that strength to be shaped to serve God.

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The Fruit of the Spirit, pt. 5; Gentleness…

In today’s society how many times have you heard someone described as “gentle?”  Think about it… even the idea of calling someone that, or pointing that out as a good quality has almost become a thing of the past.  Yet, here, in our list of the fruit of the Spirit, along with love, joy, peace, and longsuffering, we have “gentleness,” which is chrestotes in the Greek.  Think of the opposite of severe.

This word is also something translated as “kindness.”  Though it isn’t often directly translated this way, one of my favorite finds in researching this word is that it implies someone that is mellow.  I know this is more of a personal account, but when I think of gentleness, it always included the fact that whatever it is being gentle has a choice; meaning, if someone points out that someone or something else is being gentle, it is often surprising.  The visual picture I always get is something akin to a large, powerful guard dog, like a Great Pyrenees, taking care of a lamb, or another baby animal.  Most little critters are snack-size to a dog like a Great Pyrenees, yet it lets them crawl all over it, and it takes care of them.

God is described as being kind, or gentle, toward us through Jesus.

Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

One of the ways God shows His grace (unmerited favor) toward us, is to show us kindness.  Then, He also produces that fruit in us. No one should ever confuse gentleness with weakness, but rather controlled strength.  “Gentleness” is seen to be the “passive” brother of the next aspect in our list; goodness.  More on that in the next article…

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