Monday, January 19, 2009

Life by Example

The Greek word for gentleness is another word for gentle, patient or moderate, epieikēs. A hard word to pronounce, but not one so hard to live out loud as Christians. It means:

1) seeming, suitable
2) equitable, fair, mild, gentle

As Christians one of the ways we are called to live is in the manner prescribed above. What are some ways we can be gentle? We can live holy lives, lives set apart as fair, mild and gentle in nature, despite temptations to live in accordance with a self-serving attitude the world has.

The Greek word for evident is the verb ginōskō, which means:

1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel
a) to become known
2) to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of
a) to understand
b) to know
3) Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman
4) to become acquainted with, to know

Have you ever been around someone whose bad attitude has rubbed off on you? Perhaps someone who is impatient, unfair, loud, angry, even foul-mouthed? If you've ever been affected by someone this way and seen yourself transform into someone you no longer recognize, how much more should we live a life that is suitable for Christ? Our attitude is bound to rub off on those we are closest to on a daily basis. We should be careful not to become desensitized by the world so much that we are unable to live in gentleness. In living lives that are suitable, fair, mild, and gentle we encourage others to embrace this lifestyle by imitating Christ, who is near.

The Greek word for near is eggys, which means:

1) near, of place and position
a) near
b) those who are near access to God
1) Jews, as opposed to those who are alien from God and his blessings
2) The Rabbis used the term "to make nigh" as equivalent to "to make a proselyte"
2) of time
a) of times imminent and soon to come pass

In what ways do you see the Lord near in your life? In my life I see Him daily, walking by my side, having access to Him in prayer and worship. I also see the signs of the end of the age being fulfilled. I believe we are living in the last days, my friend, and I believe that one of the ways we can be a good witness for Christ, drawing others close to Him, is by living a life of gentleness, as Paul asked the Philippians to do.

"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." ~ James 3:17 (NIV)

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." ~ Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

Father, may my actions be gentle and suitable for You, drawing others to You by my attitude of reflecting Your Son. May I live in a way that is seeming and mild-mannered and fair. Remove any harshness from the words that I speak and may unfairness and quick-temperance never be a part of my lifestyle. May it all be for Your glory and not my own.


Sweet Blessings said...

Amen! Agreeing with your prayer. Thank you for sharing. Amanda

He And Me + 3 said...

That is one area I need a little work in...speaking more gently. I said your prayer at the end. Lord I do need help with that. Thanks for the post and prayer.

Tiffany Stuart said...

Thankful you are using your passion for His Word to help us dive deeper!

May we be a people after His heart!

Thank you for your comment on Laced with Grace about worshipping God.

LAURIE said...

Great teaching Laurie Ann. I have at different times in my life have had to alter some friendships because of attitudes and discouragement that seemed to bring me down. Its not easy...Laurie

Denise said...

Your sweet attitude rubs off on everyone my friend, love you.