God comes to us as a baby. It’s the ultimate picture of gentleness; that is, restraining power and strength. The creator of the universe who speaks life into existence, who has the whole world in His hands, and who has legions of powerful angels at his command chose to live out a gentle existence. Instead of coming into this world on a war horse He rides in lowly on a donkey. Instead of ruling with force and might He rules in love and forgiveness. Instead of forcing obedience He allows free-will.
Like all of the Fruit of the Spirit, gentleness comes from God Himself. Gentleness is a quality of God’s that is essential for our existence. God restrains His power for us. That’s what gentleness is all about. It’s not the equivalent of weakness. Instead gentleness can only happen when power is restrained. God’s power is such that you and I couldn’t even stand in the same space as Him unless He restrains himself. He must hide his power in the flesh of a baby for us to be able to touch him. Gentleness is not about weakness, but about restraint.
God’s restraint is part of the Good News that we share during the Christmas season. What we deserve because of our sin is His wrath, but He holds back and acts toward us in love. In the manger we see the gentleness of God who comes not in power and might, but in quietness and humility.
Dear God, thank you for not treating us as our sins deserve, but in compassion and love. Grow the same fruit of gentleness in us. Amen.