Verse: Philippians 4:5
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
The Greek word translated as gentleness in this version, is also translated in other versions as “reasonableness”, “moderation”, “consideration”, “patience” and “graciousness”. I wanted to include these words because I think the word gentleness is easy to gloss over. So as we re-read that verse, let’s include all those words to get a more complete picture of what Paul is saying. “Let your gentleness, reasonableness, moderation, consideration, patience and graciousness be evident to all. The Lord is near”.
Did you notice that Paul refers to this gentleness as something they already possess? He says let YOUR gentleness be seen and experienced by those around you. Why does he know they already possess this? He knows this simply because God is gentle, and God is in them. God is gentle, considerate and patient and we are now temples for his Spirit. We have been given the very nature of God because Jesus gave us all that He is through his death and resurrection.
If you read a verse like this and instantly feel down on yourself because gentleness, reasonableness, and patience are not really evident in your life, can I suggest that it isn’t God’s desire for you to beat yourself up and feel farther from him? What if instead you heard Him say, “You have gentleness, patience, and reasonableness in you because of Me. Lean in to who I am in you.”
A few verses before this, as Jillian wrote about on Wednesday, Paul refers to a disagreement between two women and encourages them to work it out. Reading this verse in the context of people disagreeing makes it even more impactful. Even in the midst of conflict and disagreement, he’s saying “you can let your gentleness/reasonableness/patience be seen and experienced by everyone”.
I hope this is encouraging if you desire to let your gentleness be more evident to your kids, your friends, your spouse or your coworkers. I hope you hear that you have gentleness to give, even if it’s not very evident right now. You can lean in to who God is in you and let it be seen in your responses, your interactions, and even your posts on social media 🙂
Jesus thank you for the ability to choose to allow your nature to lead my reactions and interactions. I want my gentleness to be evident to everyone today.
Your Author: Christine Robinson