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Considerate Christians

By Theodore Epp


      Philippians 4:1-7

      The word "moderation" (Phil. 4:5) emphasizes pliability and agreeableness. It is a special consideration given to other people, and it is to be the additive that causes a believer to patiently forbear under injury without desiring revenge.

      It is a spirit that is ready to forgive, and it possesses a gentleness of temper. It is also temperate in physical desires and demonstrates equity; that is, justice and impartiality in business.

      Having moderation means a person will avoid extremes and will not be explosive. The peace of God is obviously not in a person's life if he has an explosive temper.

      Nor can there be peace in a stubborn heart that refuses to yield to reason or to God. Nor is there the peace of God for the one living in physical excess; this only breeds greed and discontent.

      It cannot be overemphasized that the "moderation" of which Paul spoke in Philippians 4:5 is related to the indwelling Holy Spirit and the fruit that is produced by Him in our lives.

      That is why Paul used the word "let" in saying, "Let your moderation be known" (v. 5).

      We cannot self-produce moderation any more than we can self-produce the mind of Christ. Since Christ indwells us, we are to "let this mind be in [us], which was also in Christ Jesus" (2:5).

      So also, since the Holy Spirit indwells us, we are to let Him do His work in our lives to produce His fruit through us. And we are enabled to do this because "the Lord is at hand" (4:5).

      "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (Gal. 5:22,23).

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