An Honest Opinion of Yourself

It takes strength to be gentle.

Our independent, hero-loving society often equates gentleness with being soft, A gentle person, especially a man, is often derided as being a milquetoast, a weak person. He could be harassed and even called “pussy-whipped”.

The original meaning of gentleness was meekness or humility. Unfortunately, these terms have a rather negative connotation now. Meekness is viewed as weakness, and humility as an invitation to be walked on.

That’s a shame. True humility is simply having an honest opinion of oneself. It’s believing what God says about you. A humble person is one who doesn’t think more highly of himself than he ought to. He also doesn’t think he is worthless.

Meekness acts in concert with humility. It is utilizing or working under the power that God has given you, instead of acting in pride by trying to use your own highly limited power. It’s an honest and genuine acceptance of who God is and what He does through you.

Of course, a humble person will act with gentleness because of the deep understanding of his identity according to God. This person has nothing to prove.     peacefully swinging He knows what God says about him.

What does God have to say about you? A whole lot! He calls us beloved children. He declares that we are the righteousness of God in Christ, that we are priests and kings in His kingdom. We are joint heirs with Jesus (who inherits the entirety of creation and heaven!) and we are filled with the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. He calls us cleansed by the blood of the Lamb; we have been made sinless. Scripture is replete with love letters from our Father God to His children. He loves you and there’s nothing you can do to earn it or lose it.

Our problem is too often that we are consumed by guilt and shame about our failures. We think of ourselves as worms instead of heirs. Many of us have been taught that if we love ourselves, we are selfish and self-centered. Another lie! If we love ourselves as Christ loves us, we will not be selfish, but we will want to share this incredible revelation with others. free girl in meadowThen we will love others properly. We are living in humility and gentleness.

But won’t this revelation make us conceited? No. When we truly realize the depth of God’s love for us, it makes us humble. When we understand that we can’t earn it, we develop a deep appreciation for Him. And when we can see ourselves through His eyes, when we see ourselves as we truly are, we become the children we were always meant to be.

Do you often find yourself trying to impress people? Chances are good that you don’t quite know who you really are. It’s a false identity, whether it’s from your family, your own mind, or the enemy. The only one Who can restore you to your true identity is God. Ask Him about it.

I know it sounds counterintuitive, but that’s the way God’s kingdom works. When we allow the Spirit to grow His fruit in us, humility develops. We become meek. Gentleness abounds. Remember, it takes strength to be gentle.

this is part 10 of an 11 part series on the fruit of the spirit

Next time: Self-control

all illustrations courtesy of

Part 1| Fruit-tastic!

Part 2| How Does Your Garden Grow?

Part 3| But I Can’t Even Love Myself!

Part 4|Put on a Happy Face?

Part 5|In the Eye of the Hurricane

Part 6|I Want Patience and I Want it NOW!

Part 7|Who Gets the Credit?

Part 8|Be Good, for Goodness’ Sake

Part 9|A Maytag Life

Part 11|Get Hold of Yourself!