“You who are Spiritual” (part nine)
John D. Telgren

The next fruit of the Spirit is meekness or gentleness. This quality is necessary in order to really be effective in ministering to one that is spiritually sick.

In the medical profession, doctors now receive more training on bedside manner. Doctors that patients think the world of are gentle. A doctor that is not gentle or does not use pain killers would be seen as an insensitive brute. Instead of being seen as one who heals, he would be seen as one who harms.

Jesus himself is the great physician who was gentle with those who were spiritually sick. For instance, there was a woman caught in adultery. She was caught in the very act. How shameful! How wrong! Jesus response to her was…

"Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more." (John 8:10-11)"

He could have lectured her. He could have shamed her for doing something sinful. He could have done many things. However, he was gentle. At this point she didn’t need a lecture. She needed the grace that would enable her to change and move past this sorry incident. He told her to stop, but did so with gentleness.

In his commentary, Matthew Henry writes,

"The same word which is translated "kindness" in 2Cor 6:6; see the note at that place. The word means goodness, kindness, benignity; and is opposed to a harsh, crabbed, crooked temper. It is a disposition to be pleased; it is mildness of temper, calmness of spirit, an unruffled disposition, and a disposition to treat all with urbanity and politeness. This is one of the regular effects of the Spirit’s operations on the heart. Religion makes no one crabby, and morose, and sour. It sweetens the temper; corrects an irritable disposition; makes the heart kind; disposes us to make all around us as happy as possible. This is true politeness; a kind of politeness which can far better be learned in the school of Christ than in that of Chesterfield; by the study of the New Testament than under the direction of the dancing-master."

As a gentle doctor makes a sick patient want to go see him, so a gentle disposition makes a spiritually sick person more amenable to treatment by a spiritual person. Is it any wonder, then, that Paul said a spiritual person should be the one who restores who has become spiritually sick.