Day 17 -Learning to Have a Gentle Spirit

January 17, 2024

To slander no one, be peaceable and considerate, and always be gentle toward everyone. —Titus 3:2b

Kindness and gentleness are listed as fruits of the Spirit in Galatians. Are they the same thing? What does it mean to have a gentle spirit? This verse lets us know gentleness is a fruit all its own, and that a gentle spirit can and must be cultivated. Some Christians believe having a gentle spirit means being overly meek and never standing up for yourself.

Although meekness is sometimes a synonym for gentleness, having a gentle spirit doesn’t mean accepting abuse or never letting yourself be heard. Titus indicates that gentleness of spirit is considerate toward everyone, puts others first and avoids slander or gossip. This is often more difficult to do than it seems. Putting others first goes against everything the world tells us to do, and gossip or slander can be as natural as breathing—especially if the other person has wronged you.

As with many other fruits of the Spirit, developing gentleness requires transcending human nature, which is impossible without God. If you want to cultivate gentleness, study verses like today’s. Ask for direction from God, as well as trusted people like a clergy member. Show gentleness to family and friends, and work your way up to strangers or even those you don’t necessarily like.

God will reward your faithfulness. What if people are already taking advantage of your gentleness and abusing you? Remember that tolerating abuse isn’t the same as being a gentle person. If the situation is severe, get out as quickly as possible.

Seek help from the appropriate agency, such as Social Services. You can also seek help from family, friends and clergy. You may need counseling to learn how to deal with your abuser and approach him or her with gentleness. Take your time, and seek God’s guidance in handling this situation.

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