Brenda Cannon Henley's archive

I’ve wanted to write this column for many years, but have not had the unction or the freedom to sit down and do so. I decided several months ago that I would tackle my inner thoughts on mothers and sons and daughters while my health and mind were still up for the challenge. Let me add here before I delve in that I know all family dynamics are not the same.

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Wow! I confess I did not know where to start with this one. As I read more and more and studied writings and sermons, and read the Scriptures I could find on goodness, I realized just how big this subject is and how very little space we have to tackle it here in one column. Goodness is very important to God, and it is the sixth of the nine fruits listed in our reference verses found in Galatians.

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Let’s review the nine fruits of the Spirit of God. We started with love, joy, peace and meekness, and devoted two columns to the art of long-suffering before moving on to gentleness, today’s topic. How many of us have now memorized the fruits in the order in which they are listed? I confess I got two of them out of order when writing and was excited to get to one I particularly liked and had to do some backtracking to get them back in perspective. Perhaps this will help: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.

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Meekness, I fear, is a very misunderstood word in our modern culture. One of the very best definitions I have found is, “An attitude of humble, submissive and expectant trust in God, and a loving, patient and gentle attitude towards others.” Meekness is mentioned often in Scripture, but I do not remember a great amount of time being given to discussion and teaching of the word.

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We began our study of the fruits of the Spirit as found in the Book of Galatians, Chapter 5, and covered love, joy, peace and started on long-suffering. Long-suffering has many meanings to many different people. Merriam Webster dictionary defines long-suffering as “patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship.” Another resource book defines it as “having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people (his long-suffering wife).”

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