Gentleness

When, in his epistle to the Galatians, Paul enumerated the fruits of the Spirit, he did not fail to include gentleness, placing them in the following order: "Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." It may be that many of us do not as yet fully realize how important is gentleness in all the circumstances of daily life; but that Paul saw it as an integral part of our duty and love to God and man, which could not therefore be completely or perfectly demonstrated without it, is evident from his epistles to Timothy and to Titus. To Timothy he says that "the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves;" and Titus is admonished to teach men "to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men." James tells us that "the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits."

The Christianly scientific life should therefore find its expression in gentleness, meekness, and readiness to learn of God; and it is helpful to note that Mrs. Eddy, on page 592 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the Christian Science textbook, defines "oil," in part, as "consecration; charity; gentleness; prayer." Gentleness in speech and action is like the oil which lubricates the parts of a machine, causing it to work smoothly, effectively, and with power. Without the oil there is friction; the machinery will not function properly, and is liable to cease work altogether. Gentleness and consideration between fellow workers constitute the oil which makes business, home, church, and national interests work harmoniously. To return a gentle answer in place of arbitrary opinion will often accomplish a result when the latter would be disregarded. Doing this does not in any way imply weakness or indecision. Christ Jesus was gentle, but he never compromised with error. His reproof and correction of sin, disease, and death were no less absolute and effective because they were compassionately and lovingly given. When he said to the sinner, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more," he did not condone wrongdoing in the slightest degree, but he gently directed thought to man's true and perfect selfhood, which can only do right.

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Supply Ever at Hand
May 7, 1932
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