Fruit of the Spirit
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”2 Timothy 2:22-26
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Have you ever had one of those not-so-great mornings? From the moment you wake up—if you even woke up on time—you feel like life is out to get you. One morning, I overslept 30 minutes later than planned. I quickly got ready and made my morning coffee. As I rushed out the door with my purse, lunch bag, breakfast, coffee, and keys all in my hands, my shirt suddenly felt wet and hot. In my attempt to do everything at once, I had spilled the coffee down my clothes. Any other morning, I would have been able to deal with this, but that day I simply didn’t have time or patience. I became very frustrated and angry.
Gentleness is another fruit of the Spirit that directs our behavior toward others and God. This is how a Christian can model all the fruit of the Spirit. Gentleness is not an internal temperament or mood; it is an outward attitude of Christian love. We must not argue with our opponents but rather instruct them with gentleness (2 Timothy 2:25). Galatians 6:1 tells us to gently restore one who is caught in sin. Gentleness is always done out of love. Love for another and love for God.
Life gives us many opportunities to become angry. Rarely does anything go according to our plan. People fail us and don’t meet our expectations. Situations don’t turn out as we expected, or worse, they backfire on us. We let external events dictate our attitude and behavior. Instead of dealing with the situation itself, or addressing our feelings, we take our anger out on other people, possibly even our students, fellow teachers, or family members.
Gentleness requires an element of humility that we naturally do not have. Christ could have descended to earth with flashing lights and trumpet sounds loud enough for all to hear. He could have done miraculous signs everywhere He went until not one sick person remained. God could have shown His glory and power for all to see. Instead, He humbled Himself by coming to earth in a virgin’s womb. He became man and experienced trials and hardships. Jesus lowered Himself to eat with those whom society deemed unworthy. He did this all in order to gently restore you. While you were caught in sin, Jesus came to gently restore your relationship with God. This act of greatness did not look like greatness.
People disappoint us. Our expectations aren’t met. We want to be angry at the world and those around us when life isn’t great. Praise God that He is great for us. He was gentle for us so that we can live in peace and harmony with Him forever.