Angry? 3 Reasons to be Gentle

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:5

God’s nearness is both our reason and our ability to be gentle.
I see three specific reasons that empower our ability…

 

1. THE CROSS
The word translated “gentle” here can also be translated as “reasonableness” (yes, I know I couldn’t believe it was a word either) or “considerate”. And I see it’s true...isn’t it reasonable to share God’s grace when I consider that my just eternal penalty for sin was buried in a tomb? If Justice Himself did not withhold His gentleness to me, His very executioner, how could I withhold my gentleness to others?

Because the Lord is near through His enduring work on the cross, we can make our gentleness evident to
in-laws, telemarketers, and our cranky children...

2. THE RETURN OF CHRIST:
The Lord is also near through His promised return...yes, He’s right at the door. Vengeance is the Lord’s. He will wage war against all the sin and death that have caused my tears. He will bring perfect and final peace. Justice will reign on the earth forever. So I don’t have to toss and turn, losing sleep striving against those who have wronged me. God’s got this.

Because the Lord is near through His promise to return, we can make our gentleness evident to our parents, our loud neighbors, and our angry bosses…

3. THE SPIRIT:
He knew that it would be hard to wait for His return. So before He ascended to heaven, He promised His spirit, the Helper - to comfort, guide, convict, remind and witness through all who believe. The Lord is now nearer than ever before...living in hearts, by grace through faith. The Spirit allows me to bear the fruit of gentleness. So now instead of fighting for my own kingdom’s defense, I have the power to seek His kingdom first. I can spend my energy living out my prayers for His will “to be done on earth as it is in heaven”. I do not need to burn calories trying to avenge myself. And when I forget and waste energy, God’s spirit patiently persists to teach me to rise above offenses.

Because the Lord is near through His spirit, we can make our gentleness evident to our siblings, forgetful waiters, and frantic drivers...

Angry? Three Reasons for Gentleness

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:5
 

“The Lord is near,” is both our reason and our ability to make His gentleness evident to all. So let’s remember...

1. Let’s remember His nearness in the cross. Do you see Jesus there bearing the bloody beams...patient in betrayal, silent before His accusers, and forgiving His executioners?

2. Let’s remember the nearness of His return. Do you see Him ready to ride on the clouds... to trumpet in triumph, to stand victorious over death, and to feast in joy with us forever?

3. Let’s remember His nearness in us...the Spirit of God, living in our hearts. Do you sense Him in the center of your being, reminding you of grace, convicting you to forgive, and shining through you with gentle mercies?

Let’s lean into His nearness and show the world by our gentle, reasonable, considerate manner that indeed Jesus died, He’s returning, and He peacefully reigns in our lives by His Spirit.

#bafflingpeace,

                                              

Photo Credit: Punch[Day2]* by Chapendra @ Flickr: http://bit.ly/1ywSNHE Text and layer mine. Used with permission.