Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:5-7 ESV
I had the opportunity to attend a church near St. Louis this past weekend and they were studying these verses. Although I’ve read it so many time before, I have often read this verse for encouragement in the midst of anxieties, but these verses are instructing us to be reasonable in our actions and responses. Paul gave a direction to the church to let your reasonableness be known to everyone. Some translations say to let your gentleness be known to everyone. So, casting your anxiety on Christ is a command we are given in order to keep our cool and display an agreeable temperament. Can we be gentle toward others if anxiety is overtaking us?
Instead of living in anxiousness, God calls us to pray. He doesn’t just simply say to pray; He says to come to Him with prayer and supplication (or as some translations say “petition”) Supplication means to beg or ask earnestly and humbly. A petition is a formal request. We are told to recognize our placement in regards to a great God. We need to be aware of the fact that anxiety can’t be overcome on our own, but through the One who created us.
We need to come to Him humbly and place it in His hands. Come to Him as a person would approach a king to present a request or a judge to petition a case. In needs to be in full humility and dependence on Him.
THEN, the peace will come that surpasses all understanding. The peace does not come with any of our strength; it’s bigger than our minds can comprehend. Your situation may not have changed much or at all, but you have a peace that others will not understand.
When you have peace that others don’t understand, you’ll display the reasonableness and gentleness that others will want. This is part of our testimony as Christians. We are set apart; not just with the morality of our actions, just also with the attitude that we exhibit.
It seems like a simple enough concept… until you’re hit with the daily stressors in the supermarket, on the road, at your job. People are watching closely at how you handle yourself. If you just look and act like everyone else, how will others see Jesus in you. We are instructed to be reasonable.