What do you think of when you hear the word gentleness? It might not be what some guys strive for, but it is a good quality to possess; in fact, it is listed among the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5.

Did you know the Bible equates gentleness in the life of a Christian with the presence of God? The NIV translates Philippians 4:5 this way: “Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.”

That word gentleness appears as moderation in the King James, as reasonableness in the ESV, and as forbearance in the American Standard. It is a difficult word to translate, but it seems to be associated with meekness and humility. Gentleness, by definition, means to be kind, and is the antonym of severity.

Some people seem to think this conduct is optional for believers, as if they do not have to model this kind of behavior. “That is great for you, but I’m just not wired that way.”  But in the verse above Paul tied together gentleness and the company of Jesus (“the Lord is near”).

God loves the humble and despises pride. Isaiah 42:8 says He will not share His glory with anyone else. When pride walks into a room, Jesus walks out. But where there is gentleness, the Lord is near.

Does the Lord appear to be absent in your life? If you are a believer but do not feel close to the Lord, maybe you need to work on your gentleness, for the Lord is surely near to those who learn to be gentle.