Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Philippians 4:5 (KJV)
We know we are in the last of the last days and that the Lord is returning sooner than we think. With that in mind, what does it mean to let our moderation be known? For starters, let’s determine what the word moderation means. In the Greek, the word moderation refers to the qualities of gentleness and patience. The Amplified Bible renders the verse this way:
Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:5 (Amplified Bible, AMP)
I am drawn to the word graciousness in that verse. As the day of the Lord’s appearing draws ever closer, we can easily see that it is indeed a rare quality to walk in graciousness- even among believers. But Paul told the Philippians that it is to be demonstrated more and more as the end of the age draws closer.
Some of the words used to define gracious according to dictionary.com are: pleasantly kind, benevolent, courteous, merciful, compassionate. In a nutshell, graciousness incorporates being well-mannered and kind. People who walk in the love of God are automatically gracious people.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. I Corinthians 13:4-5 (New Living Translation, NLT)
Graciousness is not rude or self-seeking. It is courteous and willing to prefer others. It is patient and does not hold a grudge. Graciousness is classy. It demonstrates the higher ground that Christians are supposed to walk. We don’t need to push and shove and make sure no one takes advantage of us. Don’t get me wrong- we need to stand up for righteousness and godly values. However, we can do it while treating people graciously.
Graciousness is to be the big difference between the children of the Light and the children of darkness, and that difference should become more and more obvious in these end times. Before we go out the door each day, we need to make the decision to walk in graciousness, kindness and love. We should have words like “please,” “thank you,” and “after you,” on the tip of our tongues as we go into the world. When people cut in front of us or are rude, our response needs to be a smile (a genuine one), because we know that most rude people are acting out of their own stress, hurt, and fear.
When we respond with graciousness, people are taken off guard and it makes them hungry for the love we have. That’s the big reason Paul told them to let their moderation be known to all men- so they could win as many as possible. And, goodness gracious, isn’t that what’s it’s all about?