Rather than speaking evil of others or being known for quarreling, even with rulers and authorities, we are to be gentle and courteous with our words: “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people” (Titus 3:1–2).
Teachers and elders are to correct even opponents with gentleness:
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2 Tim. 2:24–26; see also 1 Cor. 4:21; 2 Cor. 10:1)
The church is required to restore one caught in transgression with a spirit of gentleness. The transgressor must know that the church is a place where he will find grace: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Gal. 6:1).
When Christians evangelize and defend the faith, it can be easy to develop a proud or argumentative spirit. Those with whom we speak must leave the conversation with a sense that we love them, and that sense will be communicated only through gentleness:
But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. (1 Peter 3:14–16; see also vv. 3–4)
Finally, if a church is to experience unity, it must walk with all humility and gentleness:
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Eph. 4:1–3)
So are you bearing this fruit and cultivating it in the church? Ask yourself: “Do others welcome me readily when I approach them? Do others easily come to me for help?” If people, children and adults, do not readily approach you regularly, it may be a sign that you need to grow in this grace. How do Christians develop this quality? Since it is fruit of the Spirit, we should ask God to give us His Holy Spirit, knowing that the Father is eager to give Him to us (Luke 11:13). We also take the yoke of Jesus by faith, for He is gentle and lowly in heart (Matt. 11:29). We receive with meekness the implanted Word (James 1:21), we pursue gentleness and fight for it (1 Tim. 6:11–12), and we consciously put it on each day (Col. 3:12).