Daily Devotions from the Daily Light
The fruit of the Spirit is...longsuffering,gentleness,
If "love,joy," and "peace" describe the inner condition, "longsuffering, gentleness, goodness," would seem to point to the outward conduct. " 'Longsuffering' is passive, 'patient endurance under injuries inflicted by others'; 'gentleness' is neutral, a 'kindly disposition towards one's neighbours,' not neccesarily taking a practical form; 'goodness' is active as an energetic principle" (Bishop Lightfoot).
We must not confound "longsuffering" with a dogged endurance, which is often the result of indifference and obstinancy, and in which there is neither meekness nor love. Nor, again, is "gentleness" to be confounded with an easygoing disposition which lacks decision and strength of character. "Gentleness," which is the fruit of the Holy Ghost, has nothing of timidity in it. Some of the most courageous spirits have been remarkable for their gentleness. But these are not virtues to be manufactured by the Christian. They are fruit to be brought forth by the Spirit. The Christian is as a branch, and not the root.