#38.

We are Commanded to Show Gentleness in Fellowship

Colossians 3:12 — So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a
heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;

The word used for gentleness here has to do with a gentleness of attitude and behavior
towards others, as opposed to a harshness. It carries the meaning of considerateness,
meekness, humility.

Once again, we are constrained to note that believers in the Lord Jesus Christ (those whom
God has chosen, who are beloved and considered holy for the sake of Christ) must put on a
heart of gentleness. This is an imperative. It is not a matter where a believer might decide
to seek the Lord to discover whether he or she should do this. They must. And we know
that every believer can put on a heart of gentleness because each one has the Holy Spirit
dwelling in his or her heart, producing fruit that includes gentleness of attitude and
behavior. So again, God is not commanding us to do something that we have no capacity
to do; He gives the capacity and then commands the outworking of it.

Once again, we note that during His time on earth, Jesus exemplified this heart in His
dealings with everyone - understanding that to be gentle does not mean to be weak, or to
be inclined to wink at sin. It is inevitable that those who are being made more like Him
through the operation of the Spirit will possess the fruit of gentleness in greater and greater
measure, therefore.

Lastly, and this almost goes without saying, it is a tremendous blessing and privilege to be
able to be among those who manifest this fruit in their lives - who are radiating this aspect
of the character of Christ. So we should earnestly long for opportunities to be in a fellowship
that is gentle of heart. Based on the command in our text, we should also seek every
opportunity to be gentle in heart to our brothers and sisters in the Lord - something that is
difficult to achieve if we absent ourselves from the gatherings of the church!

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