Sermon quotes on gentleness

Jerry Bridges

Both gentleness and meekness are born of power, not weakness.  There is a pseudo-gentleness that is effeminate, and there is a pseudo-meekness that is cowardly.  But a Christian is to be gentle and meek because those are Godlike virtues…  We should never be afraid, therefore, that the gentleness of the Spirit means weakness of character.  It takes strength, God’s strength, to be truly gentle.

The Practice of Godliness, NavPress, 1996.

Charlotte Brontë

“Oh! that gentleness! how far more potent is it than force!”

Jane Eyre

Robert Browning

The great mind knows the power of gentleness.

Jonathan Edwards

There were earnest longings that all God’s people might be clothed with humility and meekness, like the Lamb of God, and feel nothing in their hearts but love and compassion to all mankind; and great grief when anything to the contrary appeared in any of the children of God, as bitterness, fierceness of zeal, censoriousness, or reflecting uncharitably on others, or disputing with any appearance of heat of spirit.

Works of Jonathan Edwards

Francois Fenelon

It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect. The more perfect we are, the more gentle and quiet we become toward the defects of others.

George Herbert

There is great force hidden in a gentle command.

Victor Hugo

“Monseigneur Bienvenu had been formerly, according to the accounts of his youth and even of his early manhood, a passionate, perhaps a violent man. His universal tenderness was less an instinct of nature than the result of a strong conviction filtered through life into his heart, slowly dropping in upon him, thought by thought; for a character, as well as a rock, may be worn into by drops of water.”

Les Misérables

Max Lucado

I choose gentleness… Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.

Martin Luther

The higher people are in the favor of God, the more tender they are.

H F. Lyte

Fatherlike he tends and spares us

Well our feeble frame he knows

In his hand he gently bears us

Rescues us from all our foes


Brennan Manning

The art of gentleness toward ourselves leads to being gentle with others — and is a natural prerequisite for our presence to God in prayer.”

Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging

Brett Mccracken

Gentleness is not compromise. It’s not a soft, mushy posture. To be gentle in a culture of outrage is rather a radical, dangerous, costly choice—but one with the potential to actually break the vicious cycles that destroy us.

Quoted in Scott Sauls, A Gentle Answer, Thomas Nelson.

Thomas Merton

It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. The more solitary I am, the more affection I have for them. It is pure affection, and filled with reverance for the solitude of others. Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say.

The Sign of Jonas

Dane C. Ortlund

Looking inside ourselves, we can anticipate only harshness from heaven. Looking out to Christ, we can anticipate only gentleness.”

Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers, Crossway.

Dane Ortlund

In the one place in the Bible where the Son of God pulls back the veil and lets us peer way down into the core of who he is, we are not told that he is “austere and demanding in heart.” We are not told that he is “exalted and dignified in heart.” We are not even told that he is “joyful and generous in heart.” Letting Jesus set the terms, his surprising claim is that he is “gentle and lowly in heart.”

Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers, Crossway.

Dane Ortlund

“Gentle and lowly.” This, according to his own testimony, is Christ’s very heart. This is who he is. Tender. Open. Welcoming. Accommodating. Understanding. Willing. If we are asked to say only one thing about who Jesus is, we would be honoring Jesus’s own teaching if our answer is, gentle and lowly.

Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers, Crossway.

Ray Ortlund

One of Christianity’s most brilliant theologians, Jonathan Edwards, taught us that gentleness—he called it “a lamblike, dovelike spirit”—is not an optional extra but instead is “the true and distinguishing disposition of the hearts of Christians.”

Quoted in Scott Sauls, A Gentle Answer, Thomas Nelson.

Francis de Sales

Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.

Francis de Sales

It is wonderful how attractive a gentle, pleasant manner is, and how much it wins hearts.

Scott Sauls

To the accusation of offering a gentle answer to sinners, Jesus was and is guilty as charged.

A Gentle Answer, Thomas Nelson.

Dallas Willard

Only with “gentleness and reverence” will people be able to see, verify, and be persuaded to respond to what we have to say.

The Allure of Gentleness, HarperCollins. 

Christopher J. H. Wright

Gentleness is very close to patience. It’s not surprising to find them both included in Paul’s list of the fruit of the Spirit. What’s the similarity and difference? Well, if patience is the ability to endure hostility and criticism without anger, then gentleness is the ability to endure such things without aggression. Gentleness shows itself when I’ve learned that the Christlike way to respond to conflicts and quarrels, rejection, unfairness, or harsh words spoken against me, is not with bluster and self-defense, not with harsh and aggressive words, not with angry gestures and facial expressions, not with prickles and spikes—but rather, with softness, controlling my tongue and my temper.

Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit, InterVarsity Press. 

Still Looking for inspiration?

Consider checking out our illustrations page on Gentleness. 

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