Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 9, 2019
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
I love Bible nuggets, those little bits of gold that jump off the page and speak to the heart.
I recently found one in Philippians 4:4-7. Right in the middle of this passage, there is a sentence I have heard many times before, but I never really saw it until now.
In this passage, Paul is telling the Philippians to rejoice, not to be anxious, to pray, and to present their requests to God so they can experience His peace. These exhortations from Paul fit well together.
But there is one sentence in this passage that doesn’t seem to fit. Just after Paul’s emphatic command to “Rejoice!” and before his words saying not to be anxious, he says, “Let your gentleness be evident to all.”
So, what do rejoicing during trouble and not being anxious have to do with letting your gentleness become evident to those around you?
Here’s what. . . .
Our anxious thoughts affect everyone around us. If we allow anxiousness to dominate us, gentleness is generally not what others experience.
Instead, they see our irritability and anxious faces. They hear our frustration, anger, and perhaps our lack of hope. What we do with our anxiousness isn’t just about us; it’s also about everyone around us because it affects everyone around us.
In fact, anxiousness—just like frustration, anger, and fear—can be contagious. Others can “catch” our bad moods. But when we take care of our own hearts, we love others well.
So, how can you let your “gentleness be evident to all” when you don’t feel gentle?
First, do the second part of Philippians 4:6. Pray and give your requests to God. Then, give Him thanks and release your burdens to Him.
When you release your cares to Christ, joy and peace will become your companions. As a result, others will see your peace and joy—and they will experience the gentleness that comes to all of us when we rest in the truth that we are loved.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12).
Lord, thank you that you give me the ability to love others well. Thank you that I can come to you to calm my emotions and lift my spirit so that others around me can see your gentleness in me. Amen.
Practice today’s devotion the next time you feel anxious and make note of how it affects your closest relationships.
Gentleness is the fruit of the Spirit that comes from being loved by gentle Jesus. #wisdomhunters #gentleness #Jesus
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