Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Verse Between


Reading through Philippians I come across a familiar passage:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
Reading further I come across another familiar passage:
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Both verses I have often reflected on, and I'm sure we all have heard many sermons on these topics. Many perspectives on joy, rejoicing, anxiety, worry, prayer, thanksgiving, etc. have been told; and many of those words still resound in my heart as I reflect on them. Some beautiful and powerful teachings have resulted, however, it's the short verse between these two passages that caught my eye. Today as I began to get frustrated over some issues at work, I began getting more frustrated at the individuals, not the problem. I then broke for lunch and study and it was verse 5 that caught my eye ... the verse between.
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. (Philippians 4:5a, ESV)
Some translations use "gentle spirit", "gentleness" or "moderation" ... it comes from the Greek word epieik─ôs. Suitable, equitable, fair, mild, or gentle, are words that can be used here. I really like the ESV translation as it speaks well to the word and the point. Paul is ending his letter with some final words of encouragement, and among these words he is reminding us to be gentle and reasonable.

When I get challenged (at work, home, spiritually, theologically, etc.) do I respond gently? Reasonably? This is not a call to be timid; I will stand for Truth. However there are two ways to respond; by flesh, or by Spirit.

Thank You Father for speaking to me ... and my my reasonableness be known to everyone.

Yours,
~Matthew

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