Advent – Saturday, December 18, 2021

Author: Isaiah Lewis

Philippians 4:4-7

Reflection: v.5, ‘Let your gentleness be known to everyone’

This passage is interesting to me because it comes immediately after responding to two church leaders who are in conflict over something. Paul says that we should rejoice in the Lord and know that God is near and that we should pray instead of getting anxious. He also specifically says to show gentleness to others. It can be hard to remember to remain gentle when we’re in conflict with someone else or when we’re anxious, and it’s doubly difficult to be glad while doing it. But Paul says that the combination of gentleness and prayer will lead to a peace that ‘will keep [our] hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.’

What does it mean for our hearts and minds to be safe in Jesus? This verse reminds me of a song that we sing at Mercy: ‘Ain’t no harm in having your mind stayed on Jesus. / Ain’t no harm in having your mind stayed on freedom. / You gotta walk that walk and talk that talk all the way to freedom.’ I don’t think this safety in Christ means that nothing will ever make us anxious or in conflict again. Instead, I think it means that the more we approach our conflicts and anxieties with gentleness for ourselves and others, the more likely it is that we can embody an invitation to God’s freedom.

Prayer Guide us, O Lord, to be gentle with ourselves and others as. Help us to embody your love.

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