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Daily Reading: Jeremiah 1:1-2:30 ESV, Philippians 4:1-23 ESV, Psalm 75:1-10 ESV, Proverbs 24:17-20 ESV

Daily Verse: “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;” (Philippians 4:5 ESV)

EPIEKES (1933): “An adjective (from epi, used intensively, and eikos, “reasonable”), denotes “seemly, fitting”; hence, “equitable, fair, moderate, forbearing, not insisting on the letter of the law”; it is used as a noun with the article in Phil 4:5, and translated “moderation,” not going to the extremes.”[1]

Equitable and fair.

Paul commands the Philippians to treat everyone the same, whether they follow Jesus or not.  The apostle doesn’t ask us to sacrifice truth but to disarm our adversaries with a gentle spirit.

Fairly treating people challenges anyone.  When someone blatantly disrespects the boundaries you put in place, it becomes difficult to remain kind.  We must understand that just because we act accordingly doesn’t mean others will.  Yet we must find a way to love them as well.

Eliminate extremes.

Reasonable people don’t go to extremes.  Instead of forcing their way on others, they know when to back off, thinking of the other person, not just their needs.

As followers of Christ, we must show respect to others, whether or not they believe in Jesus.  Just as we have a right to follow Christ, others make a different choice.  We must show love to everyone, no matter their preferences.

Treating others reasonably means thinking about their needs and helping them meet them.  If they go to extremes, we don’t have to go with them.  We can simply say no.  If they don’t respect our answer, we may have to distance ourselves from the relationship.

Unfortunately, people struggle to receive the love God offers, and as His followers trying to love others, we must accept some will reject it.  I’ve found people can’t receive God’s love because they think themselves unworthy of it. 

Whatever the case, do your best to treat all people equally for Jesus.  Love them for the Lord and pray for those who can’t accept God’s gift.  If people don’t accept your boundaries, move the marker to a place they don’t have a choice.

As my mother loved to say, “You get more bees with honey than you do vinegar.”

[1] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 96) Thomas Nelson

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