Philippians 4:5 “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
As Paul encouraged the members of the Philippian church to get along with one another, he reminded them to be gentle. This word can also be translated as sweet reasonableness, goodwill, generosity, charity toward the faults of others, friendliness, yieldedness, leniency, mercy toward the failure of others, bigheartedness, moderation of opinion, . . . the list goes on and on. There is really not a single English word that describes what Paul said. But it all boils down to one principle: we need to exercise good people skills. As Christians, we are in the public relations business.
As we deal gently with those around us, we automatically yield our desires and opinions on issues of personal preference. We may prefer one type of music, but we yield to another’s desires in order to keep peace. We may prefer to eat Chinese food, but we go to the Mexican Restaurant out of consideration for the other person.
We also deal gently with others when it comes to their faults and failures. After all, we recognize our own faults and failures, and we certainly don’t want anyone focusing on them, or holding them against us, or broadcasting them to the world. We want others to overlook our weaknesses, and so we show the same mercy to others.
As we journey through this life, looking forward to Christ’s return, we can make that journey as a cold, stone pillar – hard, unyielding, uncomfortable. Or, we can make the journey as a warm, soft blanket – covering others with God’s love. (Which would you rather cuddle up with – a rock or a warm, soft blanket?) Either way, we will make the journey. But if we want the journey to be a pleasant one, if we want the peace and joy that automatically comes when people like us and want to be near us, we will answer the call to deal gently with people. The rewards of a gentle, humble attitude are great – both for others and for ourselves.
Dear Father, Thank You for dealing gently with me. Please help me to deal gently with other people.