Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Scripture On My Heart: Philippians 4:5

Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Philippians 4:5

The word "moderation" as translated in the original Greek means "appropriate, mild, gentle, patient". From Thayer's Greek Definitions we can include "suitable, equitable, fair, gentle". It speaks specifically to our behavior. Moderation should be seen in our dress, our speech, our reactions, even in how we spend our money. Acting moderately should be an every day occurrence, as involuntary as breathing.

In the book of James we read, "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." (1) The word "gentle" used here is the same Greek word translated "moderation" in Philippians 4:5.

Godly wisdom requires us to constantly watch our behavior. I have told my daughter again and again, "If you can't do it in front of me, then you can't do it in private." Our actions should not embarrass us. What we do in secret should reflect who we are in the open. We should live, as it says in 1 Timothy, above reproach, without anything to hide.

...give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 1 Tim. 5:14

This same thought works in reverse. If godly wisdom is moderate, then ungodly wisdom is not. Try reading the verse from James in reverse. That really changes things!


We are told in the New Testament that God sees our secrets. (2) Just look at what happened to King David. In 2 Samuel, after David had killed Bathsheba's husband, Uriah, in order to obtain her for himself, God admonished him.

For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. 2 Samuel 2:12

Just 2 verses later, He tells him why.

Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme... 2 Samuel 2:14

David's actions gave those who were against him a reason to scorn him. It affected his reputation as a king and God's reputation on his behalf.

There is a great passage of scripture to this effect in the second chapter of Titus. Over the period of several verses, instructions are given as to the behavior of men and women of all ages within the church. And underneath each instruction, the Apostle Paul continually repeats the cost of immoderate behavior.

...that the word of God be not blasphemed. verse 5

In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works... verse 6

Always set a good example for others... verse 7 CEV

Use clean language that no one can criticize. Do this, and your enemies will be too ashamed to say anything against you. verse 8 CEV as to bring credit to the teaching about God our Savior in all they do verse 10 GNB

Make sure you earn everyone's respect. verse 15 CEV

When we live our lives in moderation, we will find great freedom. People should know we have nothing to hide. We will also find wisdom and earn respect, both that of men towards us and of men towards God, through our example.

Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:2 NKJV

(1) James 3:17
(2) Matt. 6:4, 6, 18; Psalms 44:21

Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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