Fruit of the Spirit Bible Study: Gentleness

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Study Scripture:

Proverbs 15:4 - "Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit." (NLT)

Lesson From Scripture: Boaz in Ruth 2

Ruth was not a Hebrew woman, but she loved her mother-in-law so much that, after her husband died, she went to live with Naomi in Naomi's homeland. In order to help with food, Ruth offers to pick through the grain left behind in the fields. She comes to a field owned by Boaz. Now, Boaz knows all that Ruth has been helping and caring for Naomi, so he tells his workers to not only allow Ruth to pick the leftover grain, but he also tells them to drop extra grain for her and allows her to drink the water from his well.

Life Lessons:

While it may not seem like a big deal that Boaz allowed Ruth to gather the leftover grain or even had his men drop extra grain, it was. In most other fields Ruth would have been harassed or placed in danger. He could have left her to starve. He could have let the men abuse her. However, Boaz showed her great kindness coming from a gentle spirit.  He made sure she was able to gain the grain to feed her and Naomi, and he allowed her to drink water that sustained her body.

We often face situations where we have to make a choice on how we treat people. How do you treat the new kid in school? What about the boy who doesn't quite fit in? Do you stand up for those that are being teased or bullied? If you see a girl drop her books, do you stop to help her pick them up? You would be amazed how these gentle acts and kind words affect people.  Think about the times you felt alone and someone said something nice. How about the times you were sad and a friend took your hand?  High school is a harsh place, and it can use more people with a gentle spirit.

While everyone else may think you are crazy for speaking kindly of people or avoiding gossip and unkind words, God knows that your actions come from a gentle heart. It's not always easy to be gentle. Sometimes we get angry or selfish, but allow God to change your heart from those selfish ways to put you in the other person's shoes. Allow your heart to be moved so that it becomes more gentle over time.  If gentle isn't easy, it may just take some practice.  But also remember, gentleness is often contagious, and it finds ways to pay itself forward.

Prayer Focus:

This week focus your prayers on gaining a gentle heart. Try to think of times you could have offered a kind work or a helping hand, and ask God to help you remember those times when you face similar situations. Ask Him to guide you and help you be more gentle toward those that need it. Ask God to help you identify when you may be a little too harsh.  Ask God to help you find the kind words someone needs at that moment. Look for times when you can say something kind.  Guide others toward a gentler way of dealing with one another.