Sweetness is one of the main characteristics of our Lord Jesus Christ. He described Himself as being humble and gentle at heart.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-29

Throughout the history of the Bible, He has revealed Himself to humanity with gentleness. Even though the text in Exodus shows that He revealed Himself to His people on the mountain with fire, lightning, and thunder, we cannot reduce God to terror. In fact, if God always revealed Himself in such a manner, very few people would seek to meet or hear Him.

People are not often inclined toward terrifying experiences. The truth is that, in most cases, the Lord has often expressed His love through His gentleness.

The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:11-12

Many believers, in their early stages of hearing from God, often expect spectacular experiences like a mighty wind, an earthquake, or fire. But more often than not, He reveals Himself in gentleness. It is in this gentleness that, in many cases, these believers do not realize that God has spoken to them multiple times. Yes, in such a gentle way that they didn’t even realize that the Father was speaking. The Savior who came to us came with gentleness, as the Scriptures say.

Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Matthew 21:5

He comes to us with gentleness, and we will understand why further. This may seem quite strange to our generation that often glorifies violence, links strength to authority, or uses harsh words to demonstrate authority. Television programs, even from a young age, tend to be violent, and gentleness is misrepresented and often mistaken for weakness. We all know certain expressions that illustrate this, such as “don’t mistake my kindness or my silence for weakness.”

Indeed, in the modern world, when describing the entry of a king or a head of state, it is often portrayed with a display of masculinity, unlike our King, who comes to us with gentleness and entered the world in a stable, with simplicity and the kind of gentleness befitting a King of Love.

Today, gentleness is a quality that the world often places second. It is expressed in certain cultures, particularly in specific areas (which are also becoming rarer), such as in relationships between couples and parents and children. Consequently, some harsh leaders reassure certain people, and even more so, some women seek strong and even seemingly aggressive men, while gentle men are associated with boring relationships.

Gentleness is an increasingly rare quality. Some movements teach women to be stronger, but often, it sounds to their ears like toughening up, thus pushing aside the natural gentleness of women. Many companies around the world load their employees with increasingly heavy and burdensome workloads.

Society is growing harder. Several sayings describe the world as a battlefield where only the strongest, the toughest, survive, while the gentle and calm are crushed. This should not surprise us because He foretold it.

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:12

The Lord calls us to live differently, to persevere by continuing to manifest love, compassion, and an attitude that does not frustrate or hurt others. He calls us to be like Him by embracing all that He teaches us and by offering a yoke that is light.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-29

So, the Holy Spirit poses a question to us through this text:

But the fig tree answered, ‘Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees? Judges 9:11

The Lord asks if we, too, will give up this wonderful and excellent fruit, which is gentleness. But what is gentleness? To define what we mean by gentleness, two aspects need to be considered. The first highlights the negative or bad side of gentleness, while the second seeks to reveal the positive side of this quality closely associated with the divine character.

Let’s start by presenting bad examples of gentleness, what gentleness is not, to avoid any confusion. The world speaks of certain forms of gentleness that are not of the Spirit of the Lord. Indeed, these forms of gentleness relate to seduction and hypocrisy, with the aim of pleasing people. Gentleness should not be confused with a sycophantic attitude, which often conceals a manipulative spirit in the pursuit of personal gain.

Let us be cautious and guard against those with honeyed words who seek to seduce through sweet and flattering words. Some people win hearts through sweet and flattering words.

For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery, they deceive the minds of naive people. Romans 16:18

The Bible also informs us about those who have flattering lips and a double heart.

They make flattering promises with deceitful hearts. Psalms 12:2

In summary, bad gentleness can be seen as any act that resembles flattery, fawning, or elevating oneself in order to please others, often with the intention of leading to their destruction. Such acts can even be described as seduction. Let’s read the story of Proverbs 7 together.

So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life. Proverbs 7:21-23

In this scripture, wisdom teaches us several things. Firstly, it warns us that many men are seduced by the sweet words of a foreign woman, and we should be cautious in the face of the power of her sweet lips. Secondly, these verses teach us what Pastor Wendy Treat calls the wisdom of the harlot. It’s called the wisdom of the harlot because, like a harlot, sweet words without genuine attachment or rational connection to a person can be deceitful and lead to manipulation or ulterior motives.

Recognizing the power of words and gentleness, she speaks to Christian women, encouraging them to take inspiration from this attitude of the foreign woman by dedicating more time to their husbands and lavishing them with sweet words, so that they are not seduced or do not seek gentleness outside their home or family.

According to the dictionary, gentleness is defined as a kind disposition resulting in behavior devoid of brusqueness and providing others with a sense of security and comfort. The Bible contrasts it with the strength of a lion, which embodies violence, pride, and abusive authority. The Bible uses various words to describe gentleness, such as kindness, amiability, indulgence, moderation, appropriateness, fairness, justice, and beauty.

In the term “gentleness,” we find aspects that shed light on the word, such as gentle, softly, docile, calm… The Lord Jesus is characterized as the lion of the tribe of Judah, but also as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. The lamb is known for its gentleness because it is neither violent nor harsh. It represents peace, tranquility, and moderation, much like the dove.

This is why its fur is used to make soft, gentle garments. Gentleness is a quality of God, a fruit that we must cultivate because it is the aspect our God has chosen, the One who takes away the sin of the world. To remove sin and help people become better, God does not take on the aspect of the Lion of the tribe of Judah; on the contrary, He chooses the aspect of the Lamb’s gentleness.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

We must remember that it is difficult to help someone in sin when we are known for a lack of gentleness. If we do not exhibit gentleness, wounded souls will flee from us, and we will not be qualified to offer assistance. We will not be good shepherds like our Lord Jesus Christ, but rather we will have a bad reputation, one that conveys fear, harm, punishment, and more.

Gentleness serves to uplift others, to encourage those who are downcast, to avoid driving away those who have fallen, and to draw back those who have gone astray. This aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is non-negotiable, especially for the servants of God. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, the Senior Pastor of Christ Embassy churches, speaking to pastors at a pastoral seminar on this topic, said:

The Lord has set you as a bishop, as a pastor, not as an owner of the sheep. So don’t spend your time blaming the sheep because they are not your sheep. You didn’t go to the cross for these sheep. God will ask you, ‘Why did you speak so harshly or violently to my sheep? Have you ever been blamed by God? So why do you do it to His sheep?

The Apostle Paul speaks of encouraging and restoring with gentleness because what is gentle brings pleasure and comfort. The lack of gentleness can cause the loss of souls, as when someone commits a fault, and the pastor severely reprimands them, it further wounds a soul that has already made a great effort to confess their sin.

Therefore, pastors in charge of the flock must manifest this fruit of the Spirit…”

This text is an excerpt from the book “What God Desires to See in Us Vol 2“, written by Marc SAKALA .

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