vv 23-23 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
There is a general tendency to look at ourselves and say – ‘Well, that’s the kind of person I am.’ If I do something hurtful or thoughtless it is all too easy to blame it on my character – that’s the way I was made.’ It is as if the ‘me’ can’t be changed and my responses to life are for ever fixed. Maybe you find it hard to deal gently with certain people – their attitudes and values annoy you for some reason. How are you ever going to learn to deal gently with them? You may want the other person to change but consider whether it might be an opportunity for you to change and learn to deal more gently with the situation.
One thing you can be sure of however is that the Holy Spirit, who is in you, can change you into a more gentle person. Gentleness is, I suspect, one of the slower growing aspects of the fruit of the Spirit. It is no good blaming your upbringing, or your education, or any of your past experiences, and believing that it will be impossible for you to become a gentler character. The Holy Spirit is the one who is working to change all of us – so we hang on to the truth that change and growth is part of God’s plan for us. The old ‘me’ can be changed after all!