In Philippians 4:4-5, Paul tells us 2x to rejoice in the Lord (its an imperative – command). Paul tells us to rejoice without exceptions, buts or excuses. Now for us ladies, that can be a tall order, depending on the hormonal levels on any given day. Hmmmmmm. But Paul doesn’t give us, either men or women, any wiggle room. We’re supposed to rejoice, end of the story, full stop.
Next he commands us to let our gentleness be evident to everyone. The word Paul uses in the greek doesn’t so much imply a character trait of gentleness but rather the way in which we treat others – not being harsh, mean, demanding, etc. Now you probably can do this easily, but i wasnt’ exactly “gentle” when the guy at the airport charged me almost triple for some espresso shots – grrrrrrrrrrr.
So, how on earth, given the humanity that tires us, are we supposed to rejoice always & let everyone see our gentleness???? I think Paul gives us the answer in the very next phrase – Jesus is near. Can I just say that whenever i get to talk w someone about Jesus (whether they’re a Jesus fan or not), i just get really amped up. Furthermore, it makes me “rejoice” when i think that Jesus is near me & He actually likes to be near me. i don’t even like being w me that much, but He does & that causes me to rejoice. Furthermore, when i think that Jesus is near me as i interact w others, i find myself wanting to tone down some volatility & i also find myself giving more grace, being keenly aware of the ongoing grace tsunami in which i live & breath. So, dear friend, Jesus is near – be joyful & gentle.