A Spirit of Gentleness


“Brothers and sisters, if a person is caught doing something wrong, you who are spiritual should restore someone like this with a spirit of gentleness (Gal. 6:1, CEB, emphasis mine).

Hm… a spirit of gentleness. What does that look like? A couple inspirations about this today:

1) Holy Spirit wants us to apply this in our treatment of our own selves. Being gentle with ourselves? That’s challenging! Oh, it’s ever so easy to be harsh with oneself, isn’t it? This morning, I found myself starting to self-reproach for not “handling” this tough season as perfectly as I would like to. Holy Spirit checked me on this. He said that I need to be kind and gentle in the way I talk to myself about it.

Same for you, my dearly loved friend. He wants you to be kind to yourself too. If you feel like you are not meeting up to your own expectations, practice a spirit of gentleness in your self-talk about the matter. Address yourself with Jesus’ warmth. Remember that you are the one that He loves. Treat yourself as someone worthy of tenderness. Because you are.

2) He also wants us to apply it in our treatment of others on social media. In today’s intense political climate, how often do we encounter posts that press one of our emotional “buttons?” Does it seem like we frequently find someone “doing wrong” in what they commented or shared? Take another peek at today’s verse: “Brothers and sisters, if a person is caught doing something wrong, you who are spiritual should restore someone like this with a spirit of gentleness.”

When one of our buttons gets pressed, we should take James’ approach first of all: “Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to grow angry” (Ja. 1:19, CEB). Let’s sloooowww down. Let’s lay our upset inner response to that troublesome post before Holy Spirit. Let’s ask the Father for His perspective. Let’s lean in and listen… “Daddy God, are You leading me to say/type something at this moment?” Much of the time, He may not have us comment anything at all.

On the chance that He does, though, let the standard of our response be Galatians 6:1. A spirit of gentleness. And not just surface niceness. If our words are not saturated with genuine gentleness, perhaps we should not allow them to flow from our mouths. That’s what a spirit of gentleness means: it’s not just word choice. It’s the heart behind what we are saying, posting, or speaking.

As we practice self-kindness, allowing Jesus’ gentleness to flow through us… to us, it will help set the right atmosphere on the inside of us. This, in turn, will aid us greatly in our efforts to practice a spirit of gentleness with others. Freely receive Jesus’ gentleness… then freely give it away.


But what about when the other person’s stance seems so glaringly wrong? Isn’t it our place to speak up for truth? How does this go with the Scriptural mandate for kindness, patience, and gentleness?

14 thoughts on “A Spirit of Gentleness

  1. Standing up for the truth is needed but should be done with the right motive. Not to place blame or judge, done with love and gentleness. I have learnt that when someone has completely different viewpoints or perspective that goes against our grain of faith, we should just take time and listen first. It helps us get an idea of where they are coming from and helps us better on our approach of how to broach the topic with them. And because we listened they might be more open to listening to us too.

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    1. Thank you so much for your insights on this, Manu. That’s powerful. Listening more, and doing so with genuine love, would transform SO many of the interactions happening today online! I really appreciate you pointing that out 🙂 ❤

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  2. When thinking of righting the wrong within myself, I trust in the transformative power of The Lord. I respond with love that is the result when encountering my perception of wrong in others, praying that the good that is revealed will plant a seed in the mind and heart of my brother/sister/neighbor-That may prompt a change in them

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  3. Speak the truth in love. This may not be always being “nice” and accepting of others behaviours. It is pointing out when something needs to change, both within our heart and in the hearts of others. When we stray from God we stray from the ability to communicate these things that need to change to others, and we ourselves become less receptive to others offering the same gentle encouragement where of behaviour needs to change.

    Today I forgot to do a task I do every Friday at work and I was super bummed and annoyed at myself. I told my manager and they were understanding, reminding me it had been an odd week, and I had had my wisdom teeth removed the weekend prior. Sharing this burden helped me heal from my own inability to forgive my actions.

    Thank you for sharing. ♥

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    1. I definitely agree, Hamish. Truly loving someone means that you are willing to have the hard conversations with them, all coming from that deep heart motivation of love for them.

      I’m so very glad they were understanding! Sounds like a special gift from Daddy God. May He bathe your heart in His peace, grace, and deep love for you today 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great word. I have recently had to go back and remove comments I’ve made. It’s not that they were wrong, or even that inappropriate, but that my heart wasn’t right when I made them. Less commenting and more praying is what I’m TRYING to do during this time. ♥️

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