Thursday, August 06, 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, feela) 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)

Prayer: 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.
Sources: -
Rerun from January 19, 2009



Denise said...

I love you my friend.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

With a little humor, we can often turn a bad attitude around, especially when we are able to get someone to look a little more closely at himself or herself. One day, years ago, I was in the grocery store and a rather rude, in-a-bad-mood customer behind me kept pushing my cart and telling me to hurry up and put up my groceries on the belt. I could not do that, however, because the belt was filled with the groceries of the lady in front of me. Finally, I turned to the customer in back of me and asked him in an innocent tone, "Were you born this way, or are you just having a bad day?" His tone changed immediately, and he apologized, saying that he only wanted to help. I suggested that in that case, when the belt was free, perhaps he would like to help me put up my groceries. He did.

Laurie Ann said...

Wow! what a good way to turn a bad situation into a good one. And I love you, too, 'Nise.

edwin joseph said...

Just right on time.. I was to write a article with regards to living a true christian life. That the fruit of the Spirit should be evident in our lives.. Thank you.. thank you so much.. This was such a great inspiration to read. :-)

Melanie said...

Oh, this is so true, Laurie Ann!

I saw this play out for me just the other day. I started the day with a panicked, last minute, urgent request from a co-worker. My immediate response was annoyed that they hadn't let me know sooner, annoyed that she made me feel defensive about it, etc. About an hour later, someone else approached me about the same issue in a calm manner, stating "whenever you have a chance over the next few days". My immediate response was "Sure, not a problem, how about we just take care of it now?" I immediately realized how differently I had responded to the same request but presented to me in two different ways.

My next thought was how I need to be aware of this when I am communicating. I love putting the word gentle with this... approach others gently, live your life in a gentle manner. This is great! (and very timely for me!)