The truth of the matter is most of us can’t handle the truth straight, like our medicine we require a little sugar coating to make the yucky but effective stuff go down easier. For many to attempt to take it without it could choke us. This is the sentiment of so many scriptures that guide us in this area of being gentle. Letting our speech be with grace, seasoned with salt. (Col. 4:6) For many years my thought process has been to avoid taking the medicine if it couldn’t be sugar coated and this is not the will of God either. Equally as out of balance is to apply too much sugar such that it drowns out the medicine needed and thus your therapeutic purpose is diluted and becomes ineffective.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. (Pro 11:30)
I am sure we can all agree that the fruit of the Spirit is definitely in the category of righteous and when we are matured in it the evidence of it is revealed in what it produces. This is why gentleness is so important, if you yank a piece of fruit off a tree you stand the risk of bruising it. If you weren’t planning on eating it right away you just accelerated its ripening state and risk a greater chance of wasting its potential. While Jud 1:23 warns us that there will be many that will be pulled out of the fire; hating even the garments spotted from the flesh there are many more who won’t have to be bruised to be set free.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (Jas 3:17)
This last word in James is important to note and so often while trying to pull the mote in our brother’s eye we become blind to the beam that exist in our own. (Mat 7:3) This ought not to be, but rather we should consider ourselves whenever we speak to others. We should apply the same gentleness with them, considering ourselves, recognizing our own frailness and susceptibility to sin. (Gal. 6:1)
The outflow of a gentle heart is compassion. Compassion comes naturally to those who recognize that they were sinners who have been saved by grace. Those who have a forgetful mind that all their paths are not right and their ways are not straight foolishly believe their life of piety has exempted them from the need of an atoning sacrifice to rescue them from their sin. (Rom. 3:23) This is how you can have a self-righteous Pharisee who looks down upon a bleeding hearted Publican. (Luk 18:9-14) What the Pharisee failed to understand is YHVH doesn’t care about all the good we do until we confess and forsake all the wrong we have done and acknowledge, accept, and embrace the sacrifice of the Son He gave. We must first be forgiven before we can be rewarded. Repenting is our part, and as we do our part, forgiving is God’s part and He is always willing to do His part, waiting even. (2 Pet 3:9) This is a revelation that Peter fully had come to understand about YHVH. As it was Peter that had to have the vision of unclean beasts and the confrontation of Paul later on to understand the heart of God for those who were not in the natural bloodline of Abraham. Like many of us it took a few encounters with truth to move him fully into the plan of God.
That is why gentleness is one of those significant fruits that has its seasonal benefits. When we experience it in its due season we can indeed taste and see the goodness of the Lord.