If you heard someone call out in a loud voice, “Be gentle, be gentle!”, what would you think they were talking about? Maybe a baby, or a kitten, or a person with an injury? Maybe an antique or something else of great value. In our verse below, Paul is telling us to be gentle with everyone we come in contact with.
Philippians 4:5 – Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Things to think about:
· Two thoughts come to mind when considering gentleness: things of great value and things easily damaged. Both of these are true with all people.
o Matthew 6:26 - Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
o 2 Corinthians 4:7 - But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
o What are other ways we know that God values all people?
· With respect to the fragility of man, there are so many examples:
o Our physical health
o Our egos that are so easily bruised
o Our inclination to sin
o The scars we bear from previous emotional hurts
· Given this, it is imperative that we treat others gently.
o In fact, it is a fruit of the Spirit - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23)
· Can you think of a time when someone showed you gentleness when you really needed it (and maybe didn’t deserve it)?
· When are practical times for us to show gentleness?
o Resisting the urge to be short-tempered, quick to criticize, rush to judgment
· You will no doubt encounter a situation today when you can offer gentleness to someone God has put in your path.
o Remember, God values them so much He sent His Son for them
o It is the will of God than none perish but all come to repentance (i.e., no lost causes)
o All of us are but dust and need to be handled with care.
o The Lord is near.