Gentleness – Fruit of the Spirit

Jesus is our gentle king and he works in us through his Holy Spirit to bring about gentleness in our lives! Gentleness means that we work toward the welfare of those around us, rather than being rude and inconsiderate.

“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.’”

(Matt. 21:5)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

(Gal. 5:22–23)


LESSON

Fruit Intro

Hi Kids! Over the summer we’re learning about the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT. What are the Fruit of the Spirit!? When we put our faith in Jesus, we receive an amazing gift from Jesus in the form of the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit leads us, we grow and start to bear fruit! It’s a way of saying that we become more like Jesus. Galatians 5:22-23 says: “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”

The last few weeks we spoke about love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and today we’re going to speak about gentleness! We’re going to use a kiwi fruit to represent gentleness because a kiwi fruit is soft and furry, like a little animal that you need to hold very gently!

Being From a Noble Family

We think of gentleness as being soft or tender. That can be part of it, but gentleness describes more than that. It used to be that if you were a man from a noble family, or a family with high social or political standing, you’d be called a gentleman. The appropriate way for a gentleman to behave would be to act considerately toward others, to treat others kindly, and to be chivalrous. Those things all describe gentleness. Gentleness is strong but also loving.

A Not-Very-Gentle King

The opposite of gentleness might be rudeness, being mean, or not considering other people’s feelings. Listen to this story in the Bible about a not-very-gentle king:

Tell story  from 1 Kings 12:1-15

You can dramatize the king’s voice, especially on the repetition of the young men’s council. You could also have the children play the role of the people. Don’t go into too much detail.   

Does it sound to you like this is a king that people would want to follow? King Rehoboam was not very gentle. God wanted Israel’s kings to follow him and be considerate toward others, not to be mean and selfish (Deut 17:18-20).

A Very Gentle King

There’s another king that the Bible talks about. A very gentle king! Listen to this:

“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

Who do you think this verse is talking about? That’s right, the prophet Zechariah wrote this about Jesus! He describes Jesus as a gentle, which means that even though Jesus was strong and powerful, he was considerate and acted out of kindness toward others. Jesus was the opposite of the rude and mean king Rehoboam.

In fact, Jesus was so considerate toward others that he was prepared to lay down his own life for us. He made a way for us to be forgiven for our sins. Sometimes we can be selfish and mean like king Rehoboam, but Jesus still loves us and he takes our rude and mean ways and he gives us his gentleness.

Children of the King

Did you know that when we put our faith in Jesus we become children of God? That means we’re also part of a royal family! Each of us have God’s Spirit in us teaching us to be gentle, and helping us to be more like Jesus!

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you love us so much that you gently lead us and guide us by your Holy Spirit. Thank you for helping us be gentle in the way we deal with others. Please help us to continue to learn from you Jesus, so that we can become more and more like you.


Review Questions:

  • What did the people ask of Rehoboam?
  • How did he respond?
  • Did he care about the people’s struggles?
  • Does Jesus care about our struggles?
  • What has Jesus done for us?
  • How do we become more gentle?