Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Grace of Giving Up

Paul writes, "Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand"(Philippians 4:5).

Disunity comes because we're determined to have our own way. "Only by pride comes contention" (Proverbs 13:10). If we insist on our own rights and
refuse to give ground, controversy and conflict unavoidably follow.

We're not called to sacrifice right principles, of course, and we do have
rights, but for the sake of peace we're called to yield our rights, our
preferences, our opinions, our position, prestige, and power.

What's called for is "gentleness" —epieikes is Paul’s word. It means a
gracious, patient, forbearing spirit—a powerful force that
subdues anger and stubborn self-will.

But, you say, if I don't stand up for my rights I'll lose out. No, "the Lord
is at hand." He is standing by and will never permit his children to suffer
eternal loss. He will give you grace and power for the present and will
compensate you fully for all you have forfeited through courtesy and
kindness. "I tell you the truth," Jesus said "no one who has given up…will
fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come,
eternal life" (Luke 18:29,30).


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