“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5).
If you asked a friend if you were a reasonable person, how would they respond? Better yet, if you asked a family member or spouse if you were consistently reasonable, what would they say? Sometimes the opinions of those closest to us are hard to hear.
Picture for a moment what the apostle Paul is doing. He is sitting in a prison cell, probably filthy, maybe hungry and smelly, dictating a letter to the Philippians. But, instead of talking about his unjust suffering he encourages his readers with these words: “Let you reasonableness be known to everyone.” How convicting! Paul doesn’t mean that we should tell people we are reasonable and listen. Rather, he is simply saying that we must be reasonable people. Then he goes on to describe some of the character traits of a reasonable person. A reasonable person isn’t anxious. He, instead, is thankful and takes everything to God in prayer (Philippians 4:6). The he rewards his readers with the outcome of these things. “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
If we are to be reasonable people, then it seems logical that there should be something that we must be reasonable about. Indeed, there is. We are to be reasonable with the Gospel, telling others about Jesus. We also get this from Paul, who, while on trial was challenged that he was out of his mind. Paul’s response? “I am speaking true and rational words” (Acts 26:25). Did you catch that? The Gospel, the death and resurrection of Jesus, is true and rational. Therefore, why not be reasonable about it?
“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone” (Philippians 4:5).
Think back to the last time you had a discussion with someone about Jesus. Were your words true and rational? Were they reasonable words? How was your attitude. Remember that our speech about the Gospel should be with gentleness and humility.