Faithfulness Gentleness Self-Control – A Poem about Fruit
This is the third in a series of poems (actually one long poem spread out over three weeks, or nine small poems crammed into three weeks, depending on how you look at it). This is my Thankful Thursday tribute to the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, for which I am eternally grateful even if I don’t always exhibit all these characteristics in equal number. The Fruit of the Spirit is set out by Paul in his letter to the Galatians:
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT).
I have to confess that this part of the poem gave me the greatest challenge. As I wrote the stanza for each of the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit, first Love, Joy, and Peace, followed by Patience, Kindness, and Goodness, all was going well and the words just flowed. As I came to Faithfulness, the words continued to come to me. Then I came to Gentleness, and nothing. I realized I truly had no idea what Gentleness looked like, so I moved on to Self-Control and all was well again.
But each time I came back to Gentleness, I had no idea what to write. So I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to show me what Gentleness was. Over the two weeks following my first prayer, He showed me what Gentleness was by how the opposite was often exhibited in my own speech. And so I was finally able to finish the poem in time for this week’s promised posting. And for that I am thankful.
Faithfulness Gentleness Self-Control
Almighty God is faithful
I desire to be faithful, too
The key is to call on the Spirit
His power to teach and renew
Filled with His grace and mercy
Under the Law no more
Loving the blessings He outpours
Now my heart remains faithful
Even as my flesh cries, “Rebel!”
Spirit, come fill me full measure
Sweet Savior, it’s You I adore
Each of my words softly spoken
No sharpness of tongue shall I heed
The Spirit in control of my tongue
Lest another’s spirit I bleed
Even in meekness is the Spirit’s strength
Now for mercy and tenderness I plead
E‘er they cease to come to me
Sweetness of soul, overtake all harshness
Savior, by You I am freed
Escape the trap of the devil
Lying in wait with a snare
Flee his temptations to wander
– (he whispers,)
“Cavort with sin if you dare”
“Out,” declares the Spirit with power
“No lies will be believed here”
Triumph over temptation
Remain in the Spirit, stand tall
Outwit the devil by His glory
Love to do good above all
Dear Lnda,I have only just found this site and it is so joyful and peaceful.
In our Mothers’ Union we are having a festival celebrating The Seeds we Sow’ and our branch’s them is Gentl-ness and self-control. I have read you poem and would like you permission to use it in our display please.
Barbara, I would be happy to grant permission for you to print and display my poem so long as you give me attribution as the author. I’m glad this poem was a blessing to you and pray it will be to your women’s group as well. Peace, Linda
Here in England over two years since you wrote your poem on the Fruits of the Spirit – in the early hours I have searched google for something on Gentleness and here are your words. I am putting together a bi-monthly evening called “Heart2Heart’ on the third Beatitude – meekness, or as the Septuagint would have it, gentleness. So, I hope you don’t mind if one of my team reads just the verse on that theme. It seems the Lord had it there for me just when I needed it to enhance our meeting. Thank you for putting it in the public domain.
Bless you. I hope you are still writing.
In Christ, Jen Sutton
Jen, I certainly don’t mind if you read my poem as part of your Heart2Heart meeting. I am blessed to know that what I have written has been such a blessing to you. However, though I have made this poem available online it is not in the public domain. I maintain the copyright on all my writing and am actually in the process of putting all of my poetry together in a book. I am happy to give permission for you to use this poem as you have mentioned. Peace, Linda
Based on this (the Fruit of the Spirit), you may find a book, “The 3 Colors of Love” by Christian Schwarz, to be of some interest.
Thanks, I will check it out. I always like a good Christian book. Peace, Linda
This really is a great poem. I really liked what the Lord gave you to share on gentleness…very moving.
Theresa, Thank you. I was quite blessed by what He gave me on gentleness, too! When I started the poem (Peace was actually the first stanza I wrote – then He prompted me to do all the Fruit of the Spirit), I had no idea what He was planning to teach me and change in me. What an awesome God we serve and worship! Peace, Linda
“The opposite of gentleness is exhibited in your own speech…”
Might that be an occupational hazard? I can’t believe that’s the real you, because you’ve been such an encouragement to me.
I would rank this poem along the same lines as the writngs of Isaiah. More powerful, aggressive, and almost prophetic compared to the first two in the “Fruit” series. Oddly enough, they were more gentle… don’t you think?
I love that God “gives you” your words and you just follow his leading. Astounding, and so beautiful. I’ve enjoyed these poems very much! : )
Linda, The “natural” me can certainly have a sharp tongue, but I try to let the Spirit be in control of my tone. It’s easier in my writing. I’m not sure I can blame it on occupation – it’s been a character trait since long before I went to law school.
I’m not sure what to say about being compared to Isaiah! That’s one of my favorite books. I do agree that this poem is more agressive. I also noticed as I just went back and re-read all three that this one was more personal, with more lines where “I” need the Spirit. Maybe it’s because the Spirit knows these are the areas I need the most work on and so He was speaking more powerfully to me about these characteristics.
I don’t know if you saw my post the first week of January where I wrote about the Holy Spirit needing to get more credit, and my pledge to try to give Him more of the credit. I know that I could not write poetry without the inspiration of the Spirit. I’m so glad you have enjoyed these poems. I’ve enjoyed letting God help me write them. Peace, Linda
Making a note.
January, first week.
Looking forward to it.
Linda, I guess I could have given you the link instead of making you go search! Here it is: http://lindakruschke.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/credit-where-credit-is-due/ 🙂
Linda! I loved what you came up with, with His help! I’m going to copy and post these where I can read them often. They are each so good and really portray the fruit of the spirit they spell out. I need lots of reminders. Lots and lots!
God bless you and all you do in Him!
Deb, I felt blessed that He gave me the words for this poem. I actually put all 9 stanzas together and submitted it as a single poem to Idylls for the King. Peace, Linda
Thank you, Linda
I like the entire poem but this part drew my attention
“The Spirit in control of my tongue
Lest another’s spirit I bleed ”
Praying I’ll be attuned to His promptings to tread carefully … even when I’m wronged.
Ann, This is definitely an area where I will never succeed without the Holy Spirit. James knew what he was talking about when he wrote: “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” James 3:5. Only God can tame the tongue of man. I will second your prayer, trusting He will answer. Peace, Linda