Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit, demonstrated through kindness and a heart of humility. We demonstrate God’s gentleness through our words and actions toward others and Jesus is our greatest example of gentleness in the Bible. Check out the 25 best Bible verses about gentleness in this article. You will learn new ways that the gentleness of Christ can be reflected by you- prayerfully depend on God to help you grow that fruit of the Spirit.
Gentleness is defined as, “having or showing a mild, kind, or tender temperament or character.” It’s secondary definition is, “moderate in action, effect, or degree; not harsh or severe.” The Blue Letter Bible used similarly worded phrases in the Old Testament (Hebrew) usage as well as the New Testament (Greek) usage. Gentleness was used interchangeably in with the words- kindness, humility and meekness. Fairness and “sweet reasonableness” were also used in the Bible dictionary to describe a gentle person. The opposite of gentleness was harsh, severe or unreasonable. True gentleness is cultivating a softness of heart toward others. The Bible gives some examples of gentleness in the Bible.
Examples of Gentleness
There are more Bible stories that display the gentleness of Christ than we can outline here. Any one of the gospels reflect the greatest example of Jesus in the Bible. The gentle lamb of God is the ultimate example of a gentle spirit as He consistently demonstrates a softness of heart toward others. Jesus was kind and tender toward the people He encountered that were sick, oppressed, poor and outcasts. More specific examples of His gentleness was when He healed the man at the pool in Bethesda (John 5), the woman who bled for 12 years (Luke 8) and when Jesus healed a leper (Mark 1). His interactions with the disciples was an ongoing demonstration of kindness toward others.
Best Bible Verses About Gentleness
1. Proverbs 15:1 – Gentle Words are Calming
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Our words have the power to stir up anger or we can choose to give a soft answer. The gentle response can diffuse the situation and restore calm.
2. Proverbs 15:4 – Gracious Words are Powerful
“A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”
This verse is teaching that a gentle tongue has the power to be life giving, like a tree. For example, fruit trees provide food for nourishment and shade trees provide rest and refuge from the heat. We can choose words that are life giving and good for building up rather than tearing down.
3. Proverbs 25:15 – Responding Rather than Reacting
“Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.”
Choosing to be slow to speak, quick to listen and selecting gentle words wisely is far more effective than reacting quickly in difficult situations with those in authority.
4. Matthew 5:5 – Strength Under Control
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
Remember that meekness and gentleness are used interchangebly in the Bible. Meekness or gentleness has more to do with entrusting or depending on God for all things- our battles, our relationships and our difficult circumstances, rather than trying to control things in our own strength. This means with a heart of humility we can depend on God rather than our own strength.
5. Matthew 11:29 – Salvation Through Christ Leads to Rest
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Matthew 11:29 are the words of our Lord Jesus. This bible verse is speaking of salvation through Christ rather than through the man made requirements of the Pharisees. Faith in Christ’s atoning work on the cross is all we need to be saved. Coming under the authority of Christ means He will direct and guide us in all things. He is saying that His authority is not burdensome, rather it is gentle and will provide rest.
6. Titus 3:1-2 – Gentle is Practiced Toward Everyone
“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”
Earlier we spoke of gentleness demonstrating a heart toward others. This requires putting aside selfish ambition and demonstrating good conduct toward others.
7. James 3:17 – Wisdom Reflects Gentleness
“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”
Wisdom from our Heavenly Father will demonstrate a spirit of meekness, unity of the Spirit and a bond of peace. Alternatively, wisdom from the world is prideful, leads to division and is motivated by selfish ambition.
8. Colossians 3:12 – Clothed in Gentleness
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
As children of the Most High God, we are called and empowered to reflect compassion (love in action), kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
9. 1 Peter 2:18 – Displaying Gentleness to Everyone
“Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.”
Gentleness is to be demonstrated to everyone, even those who act unfairly and are prideful or unkind. A high calling of God’s people is have compassionate hearts to people who don’t act in a lovable way.
10. 1 Peter 3:4 – God Values Gentleness
“But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
Pay attention here- we are directly told that God values a gentle and quiet spirit. If this is something you would like to cultivate more of in your life, ask God to help you. He is the One who can help us do what we cannot do in our own strength.
11. Psalm 18:35 – David Exalts the Lord Almighty
“You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.”
This Psalm comes from David who is praising God as the One who saves, supports and lift up. God’s heart is for people- so much so that He sent Christ Jesus, His only Son to die for man. God is so powerful and is the source of everything good, yet He cares for man. His heart for mankind demonstrates His gentleness.
12. Galatians 6:1 – Gentleness Restores
“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.”
In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he is providing instruction on how to deal with anyone caught in sin. God’s children are called to restore others in a spirit of gentleness. Restore means to return someone to their former condition. Doing so in a spirit of gentleness means we do it with humility (knowing our own need for a Savior), kindness and love. This is how I want to be treated when I sin- how do you want to be treated when you fall short?
13. Ephesians 4:2 – How to Bear with Others
“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”
Bearing is another way to say endure, usually something unpleasant. Do people sometimes wear on you? You are not alone, yet God calls us to engage with humility, gentleness and patience because that is loving. Once again, that must be done in complete dependence on God. Ask Him to help you live His way, rather than your own way. He is faithful to help us live out all that He calls us to do.
14. Ephesians 4:32 – Forgiveness Reflects Christ Jesus
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Another tall order! Jesus has forgiven all our sins. Therefore, how could we withhold kindness and compassion toward others in the area of forgiveness? We are demonstrating the love of Christ when we humbly and gently respond to offenses with forgiveness.
15. 1 Timothy 3:2-3 – Spiritual Leadership is Gentle
“Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.”
The primary message of gentleness is to put others before yourself in humility- a necessary trait for spiritual leaders. These verses are giving guidance to those called to be a servant of the Lord in the area of leadership- a high calling to have others entrusted to your care. To be above reproach is to live a life in the light, pursuing God’s best for you…leading by example.
16. 1 Timothy 6:11 – Pursue the Righteousness of God
“But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.”
In 1st Timothy we are given 6 things to pursue or chase after- righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness and gentleness. The best way to chase after these things is to be in the Word of God. Studying the Holy Bible is how we are transformed from the inside out. Dependence on the Holy Spirit is how we are enabled to pursue righteousness, godliness and gentleness.
17. 2 Timothy 2:25-26 – Winning Souls Not Arguments
“Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”
This verse tells us to gently instruct (remember a heart for others) those who are in error regarding God and His Word. The goal is not to win an argument, disagreement or debate. Rather, the goal is to win souls for Christ- salvation is what we ultimately want for others. That is where the victory lies!
18. 1 Peter 3:15-16 – Ready to Respond with Gentleness
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
Always have an answer for those who have questions about your hope. However, we must respond in a way that exudes respect and gentleness. Gentleness is an important quality when it comes to sharing Truth that changes lives.
19. Isaiah 40:11 – Words of Encouragement for the Sheep
“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”
The sheep that belong to the Lord are receiving encouragement that we will be treated with gentleness and kept close to the Lord’s heart. He cares for us- no greater love than this! His gentleness toward us is a demonstration of His love.
20. Deuteronomy 32:2 – God’s Word for the Thirsty
“Let my teaching fall like gentle rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.”
This verse is a beautiful picture of how God’s Word gently provides instruction, encouragement, strength and hope. Like gentle rain provides refreshment for parched ground, so does it refresh the soul.
21. Hebrews 5:2 – Jesus Deals Gently with Sinners
“He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.”
Jesus endured the difficulties and weaknesses we face, therefore He deals gently with us. This verse not only provides encouragement, but instruction on how to deal with the weaknesses of others- with gentleness.
22. 2 Corinthians 10:1 – Paul’s Appeal
“By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away!”
When conducting ourselves with humility and gentleness like Christ, we are responding to others with understanding.
23. Micah 6:8 – Love Mercy and Walk Humbly
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
As stated earlier, gentleness is interchangeably used with humility. God is just, merciful and desires hearts of humility in His people. As we depend on God to cultivate that in us, we increasingly conduct ourselves in a manner that glorifies Him.
24. Philippians 4:5 – Let Your Gentleness Be Evident
“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
When something is evident, it is seen, understood or obvious. Our gentleness is to be obvious to all because it is a testimony of God’s work in us. Our testimony is used to bring glory to God and bring the unsaved to God. Let your gentleness be obvious.
25. Galatians 5:22-23 – Fruit of the Spirit
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
When you come to Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells in you. Therefore, the fruit of the Spirit includes gentleness. We all have the fruit of the Spirit. God is faithful to complete a good work in us, therefore, we can ask Him to refine any areas we would like to grow in. This includes, gentleness!
Wrapping Up the Best Bible Verses About Gentleness
Reflecting gentleness is heart work. Cultivating a heart for others is not something we can do in our own strength. However, we can depend on God to work in us to transform our inner self to demonstrate more kindness, humility and a sweet reasonableness. We have the privilege of cooperating with the work of the Holy Spirit in this particular area. The Bible verses about gentleness above give us an indication of how powerful gentleness can be in relationships and pointing others toward Truth. The Bible verses above also inform us of how we can practice gentleness with our words and actions. What was your greatest take away as you read about gentleness? How are you going to ask God to transform your heart toward others in this area?