Thursday, May 5, 2011

Philippians 4:4-5 Graciousness

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near." (HCSB)


*Characterized by kindness and warm courtesy.
*Characterized by tact and propriety
*Of a merciful or compassionate nature.
*Marked by kindness, sympathy, and unaffected politeness

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand" (ESV)


*Capable of reasoning; rational: a reasonable person
*Governed by or being in accordance with reason or sound thinking
*Being within the bounds of common sense
*Not excessive or extreme; fair

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near." (NIV)


*Acting in a manner that is gentle and mild and even-tempered
*Considerate or kindly in disposition; amiable and tender.
*Not harsh or severe; mild and soft

I have been thinking about, meditating on, and studying these verses all afternoon. It has definitely been piercing my heart. I started out meditating on verses 6-8. You know, the ones about worrying about nothing and filling your mind with good things? Anyway, these verses caught my eye. There they were sitting directly before "Don't worry about anything... "


When it says to be gracious/reasonable/gentle to all, it's talking about to all people, huh?

Even the ones that rub me the wrong way.
Even the ones that irritate the poo out of me.
Even the ones who aren't gracious/reasonable/gentle.
Even the ones who have hurt me.
Even the ones that are unkind to me.
Even the ones that are unkind to those I love.
Even the ones that might be manipulative or selfish.
Even the ones who are not behaving in ways that I might deem worthy of my gracious/reasonable/gentle behavior.
Even the one I married.
Even the ones I birthed.

It's talking about all people! It's saying that I need to make it evident to them, to make it known to them; that in Christ, I am a joyful, gracious, reasonable, gentle person. And if that is truth (which it is), then that means that I must be gracious/reasonable/gentle in all things and rejoice in Him always...

Even when I'm mad.
Even when things don't go my way.
Even when I'm in a bad mood.
Even when I'm tired.
Even when I'm hurt.
Even when I'm hormonal and PMSing big time.
Even when I'm cranky.
Even when I feel wronged.
Even when I'm stressed.
Even when I'm feeling protective.
Even when I'm wrong.
Even when I know I'm definitely right.

Good grief, that's like a holy 2x4 to the head.

Then I got to thinking...I'll bet, if I truly lived out Philippians 4:4-5, then verse 6 wouldn't be as diffcult. If I truly lived in such a way that I rejoiced in the LORD always, and my graciousness was evident to all, because the LORD is near, I'll bet I would worry a whole lot less. Because when I'm truly living verse 4 and 5...verse 8 will come naturally. And I don't know about you, but when I'm dwelling and thinking and meditating on all those good Godly things, it's impossible for me to worry.

Philippians 4:4-8 " 4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things."

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