The Fruit of the Spirit Study Week 39: Gentleness

Welcome to the second part of our study on GENTLENESS. This week we’ll look at James’s teaching as he defines meekness in greater detail. We’ll conclude with examples of strength founded in humble meekness that we can model from the lives of Moses and our Lord Jesus.

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

James 4:10 NKJV

How do gentleness and wisdom fit together? Click HERE to read James 3:13-18.

According to James, worldly wisdom is…

Unspiritual, earthly, and demonic, a kind of wisdom that has no substance of goodness. When others get ahead or attain success, bitter envy and jealousy rear their green heads. In competition, its red-hot ambition is not for the good of others–it’s purely selfish. James declares that envy and selfish ambition yield disorder and every kind of evil practice.

But heavenly wisdom…

The yield of heavenly wisdom is good deeds rooted in humility. Peacemakers sow seeds of peace and reap a crop of righteousness. Godly wisdom overflows with purity, peace, consideration for others, submissiveness, mercy, good fruit, impartiality, and sincerity.

May we always pray to receive God’s heavenly wisdom that allows us to grow in humble meekness.


“(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.)”

Numbers 12:3 NKJV

This passage of Scripture describes Moses as the meekest and most humble of all men. Bearing these powerful credentials of spiritual strength, God chose him to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land–a gargantuan task. He faced problems no one man has ever encountered, but God brought him through each one with success. Here are a few of God’s miraculous provisions: water in the barren desert pouring from rocks; daily manna from heaven; clothes and shoes that lasted forty years; a dry path through the Red Sea to escape the Egyptians; speaking face-to-face with Moses on Mount Sinai where he received the Ten Commandments on stone tablets; and God’s guiding presence in the form of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

One story shows Moses’s humble gentleness toward his siblings, Aaron and Miriam. Apparently these two became upset after Moses had married a Cushite woman, and they began to criticize their brother’s leadership. “’Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?’” (Numbers 12:2 NKJV). The Lord heard their words and became angry, dressing them down in front of the tent of meeting and dealing out retribution by making Miriam leprous. Aaron repented, and Moses pled with the Lord to take away Miriam’s punishment. (Click HERE to find out the rest of the story.)


Jesus shows His strength like a lion and His humble meekness like a lamb. From the Gospels through Revelation, He is depicted as the strong Lion of Judah as well as the humble Lamb of God. He embraced the little children to bless them (Matthew 19:13-14), and He treated women with respect and forgiveness (Luke 7:36-50).

The Scriptures about Jesus’s road to Calvary reveal the most about His gentle humility and controlled strength. Here are a few examples:

  • When Peter cut off the slave’s ear during Jesus’s arrest, Jesus rebuked Peter and performed a healing miracle (Luke 22:49-51).
  • Later when Peter denied knowing Him, Jesus sadly looked over at His disciple without a word (Luke 22:54-62).
  • He remained silent at the lying accusations of a mock trial and submitted to their physical torture (Mark 15:1-20)
  • When Pilate threatened Jesus that he held the power to either release or crucify Him, Jesus responded that God alone was in control of His fate (John 19:10-11).
  • Even as He was dying on the cross, Jesus forgave His enemies and voiced His will concerning His mother, Mary (John 19:25-27).
  • He forgave the sins of the thief on the cross next to Him (Luke 23:39-43).

Like Moses, have you ever struggled with humble gentleness as a leader of obstinate people? Have you ever forgiven an undeserving sibling or family member?

Like Jesus, have you forgiven your enemies–even in the face of the threat of death? Have you extended grace to them? Held your tongue when rejected or wrongly accused?

Whatever our trials, may we count them all joy because through them we will be made perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4) Our triumph and victory glorify our Savior, Jesus Christ. May we follow the humblest, gentlest and meekest man, the Son of God, and emulate His example.

Dear Father, thank you for teaching us about spiritual strength found within humble meekness. May we follow Your example and grow to be like You as we study Your Word and commune with You in prayer. May Your controlled strength shine through our lives as we humbly submit to You. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens
Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens © Karen Jurgens. All rights reserved

10 thoughts on “The Fruit of the Spirit Study Week 39: Gentleness

  1. Ladies, please join us as Karen Jurgens concludes the focus on the eighth Fruit of the Spirit: GENTLENESS. This second very powerful lesson in the series for the month of November was posted today, Monday, November 11th. You are encouraged to participate in our Heart”wings” ministry outreach. Please stop by and tell us what you think! Your comments, either here on this lesson or on the lesson posted on our Community page at: are such an encouragement to other ladies reached by this lesson to lead them to engage as well. We are looking forward to seeing you on our “Front Porch.” 🙂 <3 j xoxo*** Posted by: Joyce Graves, Founder of Heart"wings" – a women's fellowship and other related Heart"wings" ministries

  2. Karen, thank you for this excellent message! I love how you expressed “worldly wisdom” vs “heavenly wisdom.” Using Moses and Jesus as examples of humble gentleness presents an amazing visual of how the combination works and how it can work in our lives as well. God’s leading in the preparation of all of the lessons you have brought to us through these Bible Studies this year, and your faithful obedience to His calling, shines through. May they continue to enrich and enlighten the hearts of all who read them as they draw them closer to Him and His Word for His purpose and glory. Amen! j

    • We can never get enough Godly wisdom, can we? James devotes his entire epistle to looking at its many facets and its divine benefits. Wisdom gives us the foundation through which God can work in our lives, nurturing each of the nine fruits of the Spirit, for example. I love the Scripture in Proverbs 8 that describes how Wisdom was with the Trinity during creation. How wonderful that God allows us to partake of that same heavenly treasure! May we seek it with all our hearts!

      “When He marked out the foundations of the earth,
      Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;
      And I was daily His delight,
      Rejoicing always before Him,
      Rejoicing in His inhabited world,
      And my delight was with the sons of men.” (Proverbs 8:29b-31)

      Thanks for commenting today, Joyce. Much love. xoxo

  3. When I think of gentleness, I think of a mentor of mine who has a “gentle spirit”. She shows God’s love to others in a quiet and peaceful and gentle way. She encourages me and inspires me to be a better example of God’s love. This woman has had her share of trials and troubles, yet, her spirit is gentle. I thank God for placing her in my life to be an example of a “gentle” person.

    • She sounds like a wonderful person to have the privilege of knowing, Mimi. Isn’t it awesome how the Lord brings just the right people into our lives to inspire and encourage us? A gentle spirit brings vast peace into our lives, no matter the circumstances. Love you, dear sister. xoxo

  4. This spoke to me on a personal level again. More times than not, I can relate to them.
    I keep a separate journal for special posts.
    I’ve been learning my need to be humbly meek especially when it comes to my marriage.
    I have fully forgiven an undeserving sibling and one that might take a bit longer. Please pray that I can find it through the grace of the Lord.

    I look forward to the upcoming celebration of our Savior’s birth. I’m also saddened that I’ll actually be celebrating alone and going to my youngest daughters for Christmas dinner. Keep me in your prayers that I will shed tears with Papa. He will help wipe my tears ad put on a happy face.
    Gentleness as well as joyv are getting me through this difficult and yet beautiful time.
    I always keep in mind :God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

    • Thanks for sharing your heart with me, dear Sandra. You have experienced so much joy through your growth in the fruits of the Spirit, and I am praising God with you. Meekness or gentleness is what we show the world, but it comes from the inner strength of submission to God’s will. Just knowing how much He loves each one of us allows us to rest in His loving arms. We can be at peace, no matter our circumstances.

      It’s so hard to forgive those who have hurt us. We all face that dilemma of forgiving those who don’t deserve it. But when we remember that we also don’t deserve forgiveness, we rejoice that Jesus forgave us anyway, dying on the cross out of His amazing, perfect love. As He gives us His unconditional love, so we can also extend it to those who have hurt us. It’s a free, undeserved gift to pass on. It’s the answer to broken hearts. It’s the key to freedom of the soul.

      I will continue to pray for you, sweet sister. May God grant you His perfect peace in every circumstance, and may His heavenly wisdom bless you as you continue to grow in humble meekness.

      Remember to be joyful because you’re not celebrating Christmas alone. Papa is always right beside you! He will never leave us or forsake us. Many blessings and much love 💕 xoxo

  5. I have longed loved the lessons we can learn from Moses’ example and his closeness to God. Here is one from Numbers 20:12 that remains foremost in my mind when dealing with people: “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” It’s in reference to Moses striking the rock (twice!), then telling the people they were rebellious (which they were), and then asking the people if “we” should bring forth water for them out of the rock. But God says Moses didn’t believe Him! And that Moses did not treat God as holy in the sight of Israel! The other times Moses, in spite of the rebellious people, interceded for them. Humility is praying for our perceived enemies!

    Humility, to me, is remembering Who God is, and bowing in submission to His will, seeking to know His will, knowing how very much I need & depend completely on Him. To me the strength in humility comes from believing God, and always treating Him as holy – even in sight of the rebellious people. Only God can help us to not react to rebelliousness or to rude, unkind, and unloving remarks. Only God can help us to fix our eyes on Him, so that hurts and offenses roll off us without stinging us into reacting. Only God can help us remember to treat others as God’s special creation, remembering that God made them, and loved them enough to die for them. The humbleness seems to me to come from acknowledging these truths, and from the strength that God provides us, even when we are weak. Only God can help us to look beyond words & actions, not presuming anything, but forgiving the unforgivable, and actually lovingly praying for others. Only God can remind us that He still died for us while we were sinners ourselves, and then only God can help us love others regardless of what they do or say. Humility is God’s strength, and comes from God.

    • Amen, Becky! Well said. I agree with your comments. We find His strength in humble submission and forgiveness. Prayers for others, especially our enemies, is freeing. It’s so interesting that God’s ways are the antithesis of the world’s. Strength is found in weakness, in humility, in submission to God’s will. When we lower ourselves, He lifts us up. The first shall be last and the last shall be first.

      Thanks so much for your comments and for sharing your wisdom. Joyful blessings to you! Much love ❤️❤️xoxo

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