Greek Word Study

God really spoke to me tIhis morning through a word study of a passage of scripture I have many times read over without noticing. Philippians 4:5..”let your reasonableness be known to everyone…” This was from the ESV translation, I then read it in the CEB translation and it says, “let your gentleness be known to everyone…” This boggled my mind because gentleness and reasonableness never seemed like synonyms to me. I looked up the verse in the interlinear bible and found the greek word is “epieikes meaning gentle, mild, forbearing, fair, reasonable.” Wow, this word has so much meaning! Its a complicated word in that it holds so much truth and context to why Paul would have chosen it here. Forbearance means to be tolerant, I noticed my spirit having a bit of a struggle swallowing this because of how our world sees tolerance.I think its important to grasp the other words in English that help define this rich greek word Paul chose. Mild and gentle are also characteristics that help define this word. Maybe what Paul is trying to convey here is that we are to have a nonjudgemental spirit about us, in that we are to come at people with love and gentleness as our Father came to us in the person of Jesus Christ. It is super interesting to notice here that the definition doesn’t include the word acceptance. There is a difference between acceptance and tolerance. Acceptance is concent to take hold of verses tolerance being the willingness to understand the existance of other ns one doesn’t necessarily agree with. Could we say that in our tolerance of sin we accept that we are in need of a Savior and are to be ever watchful of our behavior but gentle in our response to others with the same sin sickness as we look to our righteousness (Jesus Christ) to make His life more evident in us as we mature in Him.


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