Philippians 4:5 – Let your gentleness be known to all men.
Gentleness is not an attribute that is especially valued in today’s culture. Can you imagine a football team whose best players were known as “gentle giants”? Or a Hollywood action hero who had a reputation of gentle kindness? What about a Christian who was known to gently yield to those who opposed him?
Sadly, this last example may be even more rare than either of the first two, but that is exactly what Paul had in mind in writing this to the Philippians. Moises Silva explains that “Paul expects believers to be guided by a frame of mind that does not put priority on personal rights. Believers whose primary concern is whether or not they are being dealt with fairly will fail to exercise a fundamental element of Christian behavior: preferring others above themselves.”
What would it be like if we were known as men and women with gentle spirits who did not demand our rights, and who pursued peace instead of conflict? How might things be different in Elkhorn if people talked about Emmanuel Baptist Church as “those gentle Christians”? Of course this does not mean doctrinal compromise, but a non-retaliatory attitude which returns love instead of anger and meekness instead of harsh self-defense.
Does your inward heart of joy in Christ find outward expression in gentleness? Today, ask the Lord to help you return love for your enemies, blessing for curses, good for hatred, and prayer for persecution.
Scriptures to read: Matthew 5:38-48; 1 Peter 2:19-25