Gentleness; Learn How to Use This Godly Quality Better

A Godly Quality

The Gentleness of Love

Colossians 3:12-15 So, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord forgave you, so you also must forgive. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. (CENT)

Something to think about:
The gentleness received from God is not cruel or violent. A gentle person is willing to adjust and put others first. They are calm and caring within tied to gentleness. An inner beauty and quality that shows God is inside.
Key Points:
  1. Gentleness like love is a quality of God. Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who toil and are burdened, and I will give you rest! 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly-minded, and ‘you shall find rest for your souls’; 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (TCNT) The Lord is gentle; His ‘yoke’ {teachings; what He wants us to do} is easy and the ‘burden’ {load we carry} is light. If it is hard for you to serve and live for God, be mindful that Jesus said it is easy.
    [read Matthew 23:1-36 (focus verses: 1-12; key verse: 4); Acts 15:1-21 (focus verses: 6-11; key verse: 10); Galatians 5:1-6 (key verse: 1)]

    Note: In Matthew 11:29 Jesus used the Greek word praos (prah’-os) meaning gentle, i.e. humble however, the KJV translators used meek.

  2. Live in a modest, unselfish, gentle and easy-going way. Put up with each other in peace with love. Ephesians 4:1-3 Therefore I, a prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (RKJNT)
  3. Help each other using gentle love. Galatians 6:1-3 Brothers, if any one of you is overwhelmed by a [particular] sin, those of you who are spiritually minded should [attempt to] restore such a person [to faithfulness]. But do it in a gentle way, being very careful that you yourself do not become tempted [to get involved in any sin]. 2 Take on yourselves the [spiritual] burdens of one another, for in doing so you will be fulfilling Christ’s law [of love, John 13:35]. (AUV)

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Fruit of the Spirit
picture of flamingos at San Diego Zoo for the gentleness Bible study

Gentleness – Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (KJV)

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 Gentleness, self-control: against such things there is no law. (RKJNT)

Galatians 5:22-23 But ye frute of sprete is loue ioye peace longesufferinge getlenes goodnes faythfulnes 23 meknes temperancye. Agaynst suche ther is no lawe. (TB)

Gentleness vs. Meekness

The King James translators followed earlier translations / revisions, mainly Tyndale[1] (the first printed English New Testament 1524) and the Great Bible[2] (considered the first printed edition of the Bible authorized by a King of England-King Henry VIII). They use the word meekness instead of gentleness for the Greek word praotes (prah”-ot’-ace) meaning gentleness. Meekness has the quality of being compliant and submissive. God is supreme and not compliant or submissive to any. Psalm 97:9 You are the Lord Most High over all the earth. You are supreme over all gods. (ICB) [reference Psalms 57:2, 78:35, 95:3 and 135:5; Exodus 18:11; Hebrews 7:1; Luke 1:35 and 6:35; Acts 7:44-50 (key verse: 48)]

Yet we all know the Most HighG5310 God doesn’t actually dwell in structures made by human hands, as the prophet Isaiah said, Acts 7:48 (The Voice)

G5310 ὕψιστος hupsistos (hoop’-sis-tos) adj. 1. highest; most high 2. (masculine singular) the Supreme (God)
πρᾳότης praotes

The Greek word for gentleness used in Galatians 5:23 is πρᾳότης praotes (prah”-ot’-ace). There are many English words used for praotes by Bible translators. They are modesty, temperance, meekness, gentleness, humility, reasonableness, graciousness, mildness, tolerance and courtesy. The two most common are meekness and gentleness.

Gentleness defined

Gentleness is the quality or state of being gentle. A person who uses gentleness is generous, kind, considerate, thoughtful in manner. They keep up a state of mildness, tenderness, softness and honor. If you have the Holy Spirit, you have gentleness, but are you friendly, peaceful, patient, modest and easily managed or handled? In other words do you give people a hard time?

Synonyms for “gentleness”

  • Benevolent – Marked by or disposed to do good, an act of kindness, a generous gift; gracious; manifesting kindness and gentleness.
  • Delicate – Finely sensitive in feeling, understanding, or responding; having or showing a sensitive distaste for anything offensive or improper.
  • Meek – Mild tempered; soft; gentle; not easily angered or irritated. Mellow and uses self-control when hurt by others.
  • Moderate – Keeping within reasonable limits; not excessive or extreme; not violent.
  • Pity – To experience or express compassion; sympathy with the grief or misery of another; compassion or fellow suffering.
  • Softhearted – Full of compassion or tenderness; not strict or severe.
  • Tenderhearted – Easily moved to pity; sympathetic.

Quick note: Do not confuse gentleness with weakness

Jesus was not always gentle

John 2:13-16 And the passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, 14 And found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting there: 15 And when he had made a whip of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep, and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money, and overturned their tables; 16 And said to those who sold doves, Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of merchandise. (RKJNT)

[read John 2:13-22 compare Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-48]
Neither was Paul

1 Corinthians 4:18-21 Now some of you have become arrogant, thinking that I would not [dare to] come to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wants me to. Then I will determine not [only] what these arrogant people are saying, but how much power they have. 20 For God’s kingdom is not a matter of [impressive] words, but of [spiritual] power. 21 Which do you [really] want? Shall I come to you with a rod [of discipline], or lovingly, and with a spirit of gentleness? (AUV)

There is a time to be gentle and a time to be firm. Do as Jesus and Paul did, let the Spirit guide you in all you do.

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A sign of wisdom from God
picture of double rainbow over San Bernardino for the gentleness bible study

Are you wise and intelligent? – First of all, when God makes people wise, they are holy. They do not fight. They are gentle. They listen to what other people say. They are very kind and do many good things. They do not quarrel. They do not say what is not true. (WE) – from James 3:13 & 17

The wise, intelligent, humble and gentle

James 3:13 Are there those among you who are truly wise and understanding [insightful; discerning]? Then they should show it by living right [their good life/conduct/lifestyle] and doing good things [their deeds/works] with a gentleness [humility; meekness; Matthew 5:5; 11:29; Galatians 6:1] that comes from wisdom. (EXB)

James 3:13-15 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his good conduct that his deeds are done in gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not boast and do not lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic. (NHEB)

Gentle are the ways of a child of God. Their actions make others know if they are wise and Spirit-led. A wise / intelligent / gentle person does not resort to using harsh / hurtful words or violence. They are not bitter or too ambitious (greedy). However, they are thoughtful, calm, humble, and caring. James 3:13 Who among you is wise and intelligent? Let him by his good conduct show his [good] deeds with the gentleness and humility of true wisdom. (AMP)

Be gentle

Philippians 4:5-7 Show a gentle attitude toward everyone. The Lord is coming soon. 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. 7 And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus. (GNT)

Be careful, we are not to do things to be seen by others. Jesus warned us to not be like the scribes and Pharisees; Matthew 23:5a They do everything to be observed by others: (HCSB) ♦ Consider Philippians 4:5 in another way: ‘Keep your gentle nature so that all people will know what it looks like to walk in His footsteps. The Lord is ever present with us.’ (The Voice)

Matthew 6:1-4 “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. (NLT)

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Scriptures to read and study

2 Samuel 22:32-37; Matthew 6:1-4; Matthew 11:25-30 (key verse: 29); Matthew 23:1-36 (focus verses: 1-12; key verse: 4); Acts 15:1-21 (focus verses: 6-11; key verse: 10); Galatians 5:1-6 (key verse: 1); Galatians 5:16-26 (key verses: 22-23 and 25); Galatians 6:1-5; Ephesians 4:1-6 (key verses: 1-3); Philippians 4:2-7 (key verse: 5); Colossians 3:12-17 (key verses: 12-15); 2 Timothy 2:14-26 (focus verses: 20-26; key verses: 23-26); Titus 3:1-8 (focus verses: 1-7; key verses: 1-2); James 1:21-27 (key verse: 21); James 3:13-18 (key verses: 13-15 and 17); 1 Peter 2:4-10 (key verse: 9); 1 Peter 3:13-17 (key verses: 15-16)


Titus 3:1-3 Remind your hearers to respect and obey the powers that be, to be ready for every kind of good work, to speak ill of no one, to avoid quarreling, 2 to be forbearing, and under all circumstances to show a gentle spirit in dealing with others, whoever they may be. 3 There was, you remember, a time when we ourselves were foolish, disobedient, misled, slaves to all kinds of passions and vices, living in a spirit of malice and envy, detested ourselves and hating one another. (OEB)

I close this with words from Colossians 3:12-13 God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So your new life should be like this: Show mercy to others. Be kind, humble, gentle, and patient. 13 Don’t be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If you feel someone has wronged you, forgive them. Forgive others because the Lord forgave you.‘ (ERV) Monitor the way you treat people to see if you have changed into a true follower of Christ. You have His Spirit, allow it to work in your life; even ‘manly men’ can be gentle :-).

Gentlemen and Ladies

1 Peter 2:9 But God chose you to be his people. You are royal priests. You are a holy nation. You are God’s special treasure. You are all these things so that you can give him praise. God brought you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (NIRV)

As children of the King of kings, you are royal. You were born into the royal holy family by the Holy Spirit. You have qualities considered proper to those of good birth or high social standing; refined; polite and distinguished. Cherish your new life in Christ, be gentle people that please God our King and be blessed— Tim.

Recommended Bible studies:

Fruit of the Spirit – Can Others See God Thru YouChristian LifeChanged LifeGodly Wisdom ♦ Hypocrite-Alert; Impress God in Life Not Other People

Question for ‘gentleness’: Have you learned to use gentleness and how to be gentle?

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

Published: Friday, April 29, 2016

If you have questions or care to discuss this, send me a private email message using this form:

[1]BBC History – William Tyndale || Catholic Encyclopedia – (3) Printed English Bibles (a) William Tyndale ♦ [2]Wikipedia || || Catholic Encyclopedia – (3) Printed English Bibles (e) ‘About 1536…Great Bible’
Copyright information:
(AUV) It is our understanding that the An Understandable Version is in the creative commons via e-Sword || (CENT) Common Edition New Testament, Copyright © Timothy E. Clontz 1999. All rights reserved. || (ERV) Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: EASY-TO-READ VERSION © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center, Inc. and used by permission. || (EXB) The Expanded Bible Scripture taken from The Expanded Bible. Copyright ©2011 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. || (GNT) and (TEV) Scripture quotations marked (GNT) are from the Good News Translation in Today’s English Version- Second Edition Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission. || (NHEB) – public domain – You may publish, copy, memorize, translate, quote, and use the New Heart English Bible freely without additional permission. Wayne A. Mitchell Mark D. Harness. || (NIRV) Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version®, NIrV® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. The “NIrV” and “New International Reader’s Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ || Open English Bible (OEB) The OEB is under a Creative Commons Zero licence – that is, it is in the public domain. Read the current release of the OEB New Testament online. || (RKJNT) Revised King James New Testament – public domain. || (TCNT) It is our understanding that the Twentieth Century New Testament, copyright 1904, is in the public domain via Twentieth Century New Testament – || (The Voice) The Voice Scripture taken from The Voice™. Copyright © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. || (WE) Taken from THE JESUS BOOK – The Bible in Worldwide English. Copyright SOON Educational Publications, Derby DE65 6BN, UK. Used by permission.

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Bishop Pettiford

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