But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23 niv

Have you ever been around someone you\’d describe as gentle? Kindness and consideration ooze from her pores. Things that would cause you to snap or rebuke someone harshly only slightly ruffle her feathers. Gentleness is in her nature.

When I attended the Girls Auxiliary program as a young girl, I had a teacher I could count on to be tenderhearted, never raising her voice. With about fifteen chatty and sometimes catty young girls in her care, she epitomized a gentle lady. Even when we ‘acted up\’ and tried her patience, she never lost control.

Being a gentle person does not mean you\’re a doormat. It only means having strength under control. The original Greek word Prautes is used of domestic animals whose great strength has been reined in and brought under control.

Since gentleness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), it should be an element of our new nature. God will lovingly help us along our path as Christians and help us develop this fruit, either by His example or through difficult trials. We learn to lean on God\’s goodness and depend on His gracious ways to bring us through.

Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

We find our perfect example in Jesus Christ. A gentle Christian submits his strength to God. Jesus submitted Himself to God. Think of the time Jesus went into the Temple, poured out the changers\’ money, and overturned the tables. Or how about when He commanded demons to leave? Jesus was under control.

Peter wrote a woman\’s beauty should not be the outer beauty of hairstyles or fine clothing. We should concentrate instead on our “inner beauty with the imperishability of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God\’s eyes (I Peter 3:4).” In our culture of plastic surgery and designer clothes, it can be difficult to concentrate on the inner beauty, but think of our value in God\’s eyes!

I hope to be like Jesus and my childhood teacher – someone who maintains a gentle spirit – no matter what life throws at me. I have my own class every Sunday, but I teach adults. Now I wouldn\’t think they\’d ever act up. Or would they?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for Your kindness toward humankind, and for providing an example of gentleness for me to follow. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

Children's author and inspirational writer, Donna J. Shepherd, looks at everyday life and finds God's fingerprints everywhere. From bird watching to the Beatitudes, Donna's writing touches the heart with wisdom and humor while feeding the mind with daily portions of God's Word. She is currently a columnist for The Dabbling Mum and a staff poet for The Inspiration Station. Her articles and poetry have appeared in Reminisce Extra, Just Between Us, Guideposts for Kids, Penwomanship, Sisters in the Lord, and many more. Her devotionals appear in Daily Grace for Women, Devotional Reflections to Nourish Your Soul (Honor Books), and Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms (Warner Books).