Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxoius about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:4-6

Like most of you, I have read/heard the above passage of scripture a thousand times. As I was reading it today, however, it struck me that I could have quoted the "Rejoice" segment and the "anxious about nothing" segment pretty much verbatim, but I'm quite certain that I would not have included the "gentleness" part. I'm not sure I ever really even noticed that part, so quick am I usually to jump ahead to the part I like, the part where God comforts me and gives me direction for my prayers. But, the part about making my gentleness known? Nope, I'm pretty sure I missed that.

In fact, if I were making a list of qualities I possess, gentleness would almost certainly not appear. But, it strikes me that the scripture doesn't say, "If you possess gentleness . . ." or "those of you who are gentle . . .." No, it's a direct command to all of us. "Let your gentleness be evident."

This is a command I will do well to remember in dealing with my children. My tone does not always convey gentleness (how's that for understatement of the year?), nor are my actions always gentle. I get irritated and grumpy, and the people who bear the brunt of it the most are unquestionably the three little people I should take the most care to treat with kindness and gentleness.

Lord, you are bigger than my tone of voice, my mood, and even my heart. Help me to convey gentleness to all, and let it begin in my home with the three precious children you have, for now, entrusted to me.

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