Friday, March 11, 2011


In my last posting we looked at one of three needs that we have, as seen in Philippians 4:4-7, if we are going to live joyful lives when we go through tough and hurtful times in our lives and in our ministries. The first need was to REJOICE! Today we see the second need which is to RESPOND! Philippians 4:5 says this:

"Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near!"

How are we to live? We are to live lives exhibiting a "gentle spirit" even when the heat and hurt that can come with being in ministry increases. What does it mean to be "gentle"? Synonyms for this word include, "considerateness; graciousness; sweet reasonableness; and having a friendly disposition."

Antonyms for this word include such descriptions as, "stubbornness; thoughtlessness and harshness." So even when you are going through a hurtful and difficult time in ministry, respond with a gentle spirit. Don't respond with stubbornness, thoughtlessness or harshness. Instead, respond with considerateness; graciousness; sweet reasonableness; and with a friendly disposition.

And who are you to respond this way to? The verse says "all men"! Does this include even those who are mistreating you or causing you pain? Absolutely. "All" means "all" and that's "all" that "all" means.

Why should we respond to all men this way? The verse says to do so because "the Lord is near!" The term means "at hand." I believe this is speaking of the nearness of Christ's return. We should respond with a gentle spirit to all men because Jesus could come at any time. And responding in this way for this reason is a way to live a joyful life even when life and ministry hurts!

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