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Thursday, 30 November 2017
Fruit of the Spirit - Gentlness

What remains? The last two fruits of the Spirit (I'm still not sure if the plural of fruit is fruit or fruits). Since I wrote the last sentence, I looked it up on the internet, so now I know and what I know must be true because I read it on the internet.

Fruit is an "uncountable" noun and therefore has no plural form. One can say "fruits" but that is a reference to an assembly of diverse types of fruits. A basket of one type of fruit is still just fruit. A basket of oranges is a basket of fruit, while a basket of oranges and pears is a basket of fruits.

And (as Paul Harvey used to say), "Now you know the rest of the story." Or, as I like to say (here I go quoting myself again - and you already know what I think about that) "Listen to the rabbi and you'll get a lot of information you didn't know you needed." But, for information you do need, stay tuned in and read below.

Galatians 5:23 mentions two more fruits of the spirit. How convenient, we'll have one today and one tomorrow. Today's portion of fruit is Prautes, translated as mildness or gentleness.

The connotation in the Greek is one of "powerful gentleness". Let me explain. This is not a milk toast (see Caspar Milquetoast, a cartoon character known as one who walks softly and gets hit with a big stick) attitude, but a person of purpose who has had wrath removed from his/her life.

Yes, the opposite of gentleness is wrath (a bull in a china shop attitude that wants to break everything just because it is there). Yeshua is often faulted for upturning the tables of the money changers. Yet, His purpose driven demonstration reflected the Father's heart, broken at the irreverence of turning His "house of prayer into a den of thieves."

Even in this aggressive act, Yeshua was demonstrating the fruit of the spirit, gentleness. Think what His unrestrained response might have been. This fruit of gentleness is "power under control." There is a natural tendency to feel justified in being unrestrained, but this is not fruit, it is satan's counterfeit.

Lastly, this word for gentleness is used in 2 Timothy 2:25 where we find the instruction "give guidance with humility (gentleness)." This is a true measure of fruit. It is so easy to speak the truth (and feel self-righteous at the same time). It is another thing altogether to "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15). Now we are combining fruits, gentleness and love. Get it, got it, good! I'll write another day on how to speak the truth in love ...

R. Michael

Posted By Rabbi Michael Weiner, 11:42am Comment Comments: 0