Fruit of Gentleness and Self-Control

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

This blog will be the final week for us to look at the “Fruits of the Spirit” as identified in Galatians. But, before we jump into the last two fruits, let’s recap our study so far.

  • Love stood alone as the first fruit for the study. Love is the fertilizer that grows all the other fruits and love appears as a central theme throughout the Bible. We see how God showed His love for us by sending Jesus to die for us. This fruit appears in us as we learn to love as Christ loves.
  • Next, we looked at Joy and Peace. Christian Joy is much broader than just feeling happy. Anchoring our joy in Jesus helps prevent the world from robbing us of it. Peace from a worldly perspective differs from this fruit of the Spirit. Satan thrives on unrest within a soul. But, God gives us a feeling of peace that transcends human understanding.
  • Patience and Faithfulness came next in the study. Our patience comes from God faithfully giving us His strength to endure all things. Faithfulness means more than just our faith in God. This fruit also says we are called to be reliable and trustworthy.
  • Finally, last week we looked at Kindness and Goodness. Kindness is love in action. When we demonstrate kindness, we shine the love of Christ onto the world. We find goodness in keeping God’s commandments. They put us on the path towards goodness as seen by God. God intends that the commandments be our guideposts for life.

When the fruits are present in us, the world will see Christ in us. Click To Tweet

Let’s look at the new fruits for this week.The first one is Gentleness.  Another word used in place of gentleness is meekness. Stating someone is meek does not come across as a compliment for most of us. We prefer when the words strength and authority are used to define us. God’s meekness is not mousy or weak but instead shows humbleness and power in our submission to God’s will. When we are meek for God, we value others above ourselves and stands in opposition to the prideful. The Bible says clearly in I Peter 5:5 that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. And Psalms 37:11 plainly states that “the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”

Colossians 3:12 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Self-control is a fruit most will try to avoid in our society. We all want free-will, to do as we please with our lives. “It’s my body so I can do anything I want with it,” gets chanted in the streets of our cities. God calls us to live a life of self-control in our words and actions. Calmness and mildness shall prevail in all we do because we can trust the Lord for everything.

Proverbs 16:32 “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.”

As I studied up on the fruits, I came across a great quote “After all, temperance and love are the bookends that hold all the other fruit in place.” Love leads the way to our life in Christ and self-control helps us to walk the path God has laid out before us. Our job is to cultivate the soil so all these fruits can grow freely in our lives. Jesus said in Matthew 7:20 “Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.” When these fruits are present in us, the world will see Christ in us. The light of Christ glows brightly through the fruits and shines a light into the darkness found around us.

Our job is to cultivate the soil so all these fruits can grow freely in our lives. Click To Tweet

Blessings,

Yvonne – #blogger, #speaker, and #author

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”


Additional Resources:

Fruits of the Spirit Bible Study by Kathy Howard

Crosswalk – What are the Fruits of the Spirit

A Look at fruits in the Bible

43 thoughts on “Fruit of Gentleness and Self-Control

  1. Hello Yvonne – two things stand out for me in your blog.

    Meekness – I never have liked that word and you are the first person to provide a definition I can try on = God’s meekness shows humbleness and power in our submission to God’s will. When we are meek for God, we value others above ourselves and stands in opposition to the prideful. I get that. That works for me. Thank you.

    Secondly = Temperance and Love are the bookends that hold all the other fruit in place. This is a really helpful quote, thank you. Love inspires and draws me and self-control keeps my feet on His path. Nice, love it.

    1. Yvonne

      Thanks Bob. I can agree with you especially on meekness. The idea of meekness has been corrupted by our society so that is why I thought it was a good idea to look at the fruits in depth. God bless

  2. Yvonne, what a wonderful post! I am grateful for the time you have spent elaborating on each of these powerful fruits of the Spirit. It is true, as you say, when these qualities are present in us, the world sees Christ. I pray I can continue to cultivate the soil of my heart for more of these Godly traits to grow. Your clarification of meekness and the conclusion of self-control are something I will remember long. Bless you!

    1. Yvonne

      Thanks Melissa. I was hoping they helped all of us to better understand the fruits in our society today. I appreciate hearing your thoughts. God bless

  3. Thanks for a great post Yvonne! I love where you said “Love is the fertilizer that grows all the other fruits”. It’s so true! I struggle with showing love sometimes, and all the while, I’m trying to grow the other fruits, and this is a key reason why it doesn’t work sometimes. Thanks for that food for thought there!

    1. Yvonne

      Thanks Paul. I really appreciate your thoughts on the subject of Fruits of the Spirit. They do get lost in our busyness with trying to fill everyone’s expectations on us.

  4. Isn’t it funny how we’ve taken positives from our Lord and turned them into negatives? I too fall into the trap of thinking of meekness as a weak characteristic. Thank you so much for this reminder and for pointing me back to the truth!

  5. Thanks for the summary, Yvonne. Served as a good reminder. Love the bookends quote.

    And I agree on how our culture, and sadly even believers, look at self-control. In the church, we often throw out how we are exercising our freedom in Christ by our choices. But freedom must be maintained (Galatians 5:1). Once we lose control of anything (i.e. sex, drugs, food, alcohol, shopping, and son on), it then has control over us and the “self” part is gone. God must have seen it as an important part of the Christian walk to include it as a fruit. 🙂

    1. Yvonne

      Amen Karen. So many. Christian do think they have total freedom to do anything when we must follow Christ for our walk. The world has invaded the church, making us forget the fruits we are called to bear. God bless.

  6. I love this, Yvonne! My favorite part is in the review where you write, “Satan thrives on unrest within a soul. But, God gives us a feeling of peace that transcends human understanding.”

    I think the word ‘unrest’ truly stood out to me.

    I’m on a mission these days to seek peace and pursue it. It’s been a tumultuous fall for me and peace has been far. However, today God’s peace truly descended upon me. Why? Because as you said, “Our job is to cultivate the soil so all these fruits can grow freely in our lives,” I had that opportunity yesterday to cultivate this fruit of peace and I’m experiencing it today; albeit it came through the stomach flu, but nonetheless, the illness placed me in a still position so I could slow down and hear from the Lord and feel His presence. Loved your post!

    1. Yvonne

      Oh. Marcie,I am so sorry you are sick but glad you experienced some peace and rest. Sometimes, God has to force us to rest. I will be praying for you to get better and to find rest. God bless

  7. Truth, often times we don’t appreciate the power of a meek and humble spirit. I agree that God makes it clear that those who carry the fruit of humility will enjoy a great harvest! Great encouragement to grow in all the fruits with LOVE as the foundation for all!

  8. Kat Kohler

    Beautifully put. It definitely requires love for the other fruits to rise up. And I definitely have to lay down myself to have self control ❤️

  9. “God’s meekness is not mousy or weak but instead shows humbleness and power in our submission to God’s will.” That is so important for us to understand. And for us to emulate. Thanks and God bless!

  10. Dear Yvonne!

    Self-control such an interesting topic; you’re right when you say the majority tries to avoid it; my add to that would be that we, the Christians are often guilty of that as well.

    With love,
    Edna Davidsen

    1. Yvonne

      Thanks so much Edna. I think Christian are guilty of this too. Everyone wants to live life their own way and not God’s way. God bless

  11. I’ve really liked this series you’ve done, Yvonne. This week is my favorite. That quote you found is something I’m going to keep: temperance and love are the bookends that hold all the other fruit in place. That’s a good word.
    When it comes to the fruit of the Spirit, I tend to think of them as the easiest way to distinguish a Christ follower from a mere fan. I encountered a really harsh Twitter person yesterday, berating a tender-hearted Christian author. It was shocking. I look at situations like that and wonder where the fruit is. What happened in this person’s life to stunt the Holy Spirit’s transforming power? In any case, I want to live differently, and these are the things I want said of me when I die. Thanks for writing, Yvonne.

    1. Yvonne

      Thanks Chip. Witnessing Christian act in such ways leaves me heartbroken. Not only is it ugly, it also hurts our witness to the world. I hope others see fruits in my life and remember them after I am gone too. Thanks for your comments. God bless

  12. onelostcoin

    I love how you talk about meekness. I’ve been called meek before, and it was specifically related to how I live out my Christian faith. Words have such power, and this was a great reminder that no one defines us except for God.

    1. Yvonne

      Thanks and you are so correct about words and their effects on us. But, we are children of God and he label us as His. Thanks and God bless.

  13. Love this: “When these fruits are present in us, the world will see Christ in us. The light of Christ glows brightly through the fruits and shines a light into the darkness found around us.” Thanks for the inspiration and the guidance!

  14. stephaniemgammon

    Wow. The idea that love and self-control are what holds all the other fruits together just floored me. But, it is exactly true. I’m going to be thinking on this for a while to come. Thank you, Yvonne.

  15. I love how you put it “God’s meekness is not mousy or weak but instead shows humbleness and power in our submission to God’s will.” It is so important to keep in mind that God’s definition of certain words and concepts is very different from ours and especially from the word’s.

  16. I sometimes look at the fruits of the spirit and read through them carefully just to see how I’m doing. Some come more easily for me than others, but I ask the Holy Spirit to help me do better with all of them. I don’t want to ever make the excuse of, “I can’t help it. That’s just how I am.” God can help us to change. Thanks for the reminder, Yvonne.

  17. Gentleness and self control can be particularly difficult. They usually mean we’re going to be stepped on and maybe squished. Jesus was, so we can’t expect to avoid this outcome. Trusting him as we’re being squished is the essence of gentleness and self control. It means we don’t strike back. Do we really believe that we can obey him and reap whatever consequences come from our self control and gentleness? Therein lies the rub. In an increasingly volatile and confrontational world, the likelihood that we’ll be squished is high. None of these fruits are easy to live out, for they require us to yield and to trust. I’ve loved your exploration of the fruit of the Spirit.

    1. Yvonne

      Thank you Melinda. I agree with your thoughts that these will get tested in us more and more as the world moves further from God each day. God bless

  18. Hi Yvonne,

    It’s funny how you’ve been covering the fruits of the Spirit while my pastor has been preaching a serieson the same topic, fruit by fruit. And you have both concluded the series right around now. Good had been giving me a much needed double dose.

    One of the toughest of these fruits for me is faithfulness because it requires consistency over the long haul. And I appreciate how you mentioned God’s faithfulness in the context of patience. His faithfulness is also an example to us for our faithfulness.

    Thanks for this series. It has been encouraging.

  19. I strive for gentleness as a parent, and also most recently as a stepmom. It’s a virtue and one I didn’t always take the time to cultivate, but it’s a great way to show Christ in the world. xoxo

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