Gentleness, also translated ‘meekness,’ does not mean weakness but rather strength under control – humility and thankfulness toward God, and polite, restrained behaviour toward others. Paul wrote, “By the meekness and gentleness of Christ...” (2 Cor 10:1). David, in declaring, “O Lord your gentleness has made me great” recognised that God’s mercy and ability enabled him to live uprightly (Ps 18:35). This is vastly different to the world’s belief that aggression, talent and opportunities are the keys to greatness and advancement.

Gentleness is love in action, being considerate, and meeting the needs of others, as “a mother caring for her little children” (1 Thes 2:7). It is treating others how we would like to be treated (Lk 6:31).

Paul stated, “The servant of the Lord must not strive but be gentle [kind] to all” (2 Tim 2:24).

Jesus was kind and considerate to the helpless and those seeking to enter His ‘better’ way of life but to the religious leaders who opposed the manifestation of God’s power and should have been signposts for good He was scathing (Mt 21:12,13, 23:13-33).

Gentleness is a ‘fruit of the Spirit’ reflecting God’s righteous and holy nature (Gal 5:23). It does not mean we go easy on those who try to justify actions that God has called sin, or let them continue in sin without challenging them with the truth of the Word and the

Is this quality increasing in my life?

holiness that God calls us to. Yet our holding them to account must be done in a mild, loving and encouraging way, for the Bible says, "If anyone is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness" (Gal 6:1).

See also: fruit (of the Spirit), kindness, meekness.