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2. Be Gentle

(Moderate, Reasonable, Forebearing, Equitable) 
 

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Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. (Philippians 4:5)

Moderation - Sense of self-restraint. Is not selfish, does not insist eagerly on his own rights, but will give way to others, will be gentle and kind.  It is the spirit that enables a man to bear injuries with patience and not to demand all that is rightly his due, for the sake of peace. The apostle corrected the litigios spirit of the Corinthians by asking them, "Why do ye not rather take wrong?" (1 Corinthians 6:7.) Forbearance is reasonableness (to which the derivation points) on its gentle side. It is the opposite of rigorism. It is "considerateness for others, not urging one's own rights to the uttermost, but waiving a part, and thereby rectifying the injustice of justice.

This attitude promotes peace without, thereby produces peace within. It glorifies Christ as it immulates His character (2 Cor. 10:1) -Pulpit Commentary

 

Notice Paul tells the saints to let their gentleness be known. It doesn't say to act gentle towards others, although that certainly would be what we should do. What it does say is to let their gentle inner nature to rule their outer behavior. We are not to live hypocritically by keeping quiet or being agreeable outwardly, but inside we are seething with anger or discontent. To live in peace within ourselves and with others we must develop a heart that lives daily in moderation, in gentleness, and willingness to yield to others, and an ability to be wronged without an attitude of protest and vengeance. 

 

Let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (1Peter 3:4)

 

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In the Aristotelian' Ethics' moderation stands for the temper which contents itself with less than its due, and shrinks from insisting on its strict rights. There is no joy in a narrow selfishness; joy involves an open heart, a generous love. Joy in the Lord tends to make men gentle and mild to others. -Pulpit Commentary

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Mat 11:29)


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                       Which are You?
 
I watched them tear a building down;
A gang of men in a busy town.
With a mighy heave and a lusty yell,
They swung a boom and a side wall fell.
 
I said to the foreman, "Are these men skilled
As the men you'd hire if you had to build?"
He gave me a laugh and said, "No indeed!
Just a common laborer is all I need.
 
And I can wreck in a day or two
What it took the builder a year to do."
And I thought to myself as I went my way,
"Just which of these roles have I tried to play?
 
Am I a builder who works with care
Measuring life by the rule and square,
Or am I a wrecker as I walk the town
Content with the labor of tearing down?"
 
                       by Charles Benvegar 

"The Lord is at hand."
 
Why live in gentleness/moderation? Because the Lord is at hand or we may say because the Lord is near. If Jesus was standing by us in the flesh would we insist we have our own way when others disagree with us? Would we be pushy and demanding? Would we be aggitated with others and be impatient with them? Outwardly, we probably wouldn't. We would act kind and perhaps would keep quiet as we'd be afraid of saying the wrong thing in front of the Lord. 
 
The reality, we tend to forget, is that the Lord is always near us; He sees and observes our flesh and our spirit. He know how we are acting towards others. He knows how we are thinking about others. He knows if we have a tender heart, willing to yield to another. He knows if we have vengeance in our hearts. Paul warns the saints that the Lord's people must live with a humble, peaceful spirit, as the Lord is near to us, observing us. Who are we to insist on having our way?
 
When confronted with opposition, it is a comfort to know the Lord is at hand, if we are willing to allow our spiritual man to rule in our lives.  He is also helping and strengthening us in our weakness and temptation to think and act in a fleshly manner. 
 
The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. (Psa 145:18)
 
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. (Psa 46:1)
 
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: "WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH"; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed. (1Pe 2:21-24)

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The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. (Jas 3:17)

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July 2017