The fruit of the Spirit is…gentleness…. – Galatians 5:22-23
Scripture reading: 1 Peter 3:1-6
Paul’s teaching that the fruit of the Spirit included gentleness was appropriate. Paul was in need of re-sowing gospel seeds at Galatia where many believed that they were to take pride in their goodness to make themselves right with God.
Paul corrects: “If gospel seeds are planted in your hearts by the Spirit, then a character change finds its way into your life.” It is the change to humility. As Paul would say elsewhere: “By the grace of God I am what I am and His grace to me was not without effect” (1 Corinthians 15:10). God’s lavish grace makes the works of the flesh pointless.
We find examples of such a humble spirit in Scripture. John the Baptist said that he was not worthy of untying the sandal of his Saviour (John 1:27), and Peter counsels Christian wives to gentleness in our passage.
Gentleness promotes peace because it need not promote self, as bitter jealousy does. In His grace, God takes care of our needs. Gentleness promotes peace because its spirit is at peace. With gentleness, room is left to esteem others more than ourselves, which was the spirit of Christ.
Suggestions for prayer
As you ponder how God has taken care of your needs, pray that the peace this gives your spirit may be shown in gentleness that promotes peace with others in your life.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. John Vermeer is the pastor of Doon United Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa.