Anxiety or Peace?

Read: Philippians 4:5-13

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything. . . . And the peace of God . . . will guard your hearts. (vv. 5-7)

Reasonableness. What a great word. Are you known to others as a reasonable person? The word describes a “gentle agreeableness.” The opposite would be “quarrelsome.” Reasonable Christians can agree to disagree with each other. A reasonable person can endure or put up with other people who take advantage of them or mistreat them. They could fire back, but they are content to let it go. Reasonableness means giving others the benefit of the doubt.

When is the last time you did that? You know, cut somebody some slack? Graciously refused to lash back at them? Determined not to make a scene? Reasonableness—it’s something to be known for, along with a lack of anxiety (v. 6).

Now, all of us have legitimate concerns in our lives, but anxiety is concern gone to seed. It is a word that describes an anxious, harassing care, an unreasonable anxiety that consumes a person with chronic worry. We know what that is like. We become distracted, our emotions simmer until they boil over and our bodies begin to break down or demonstrate negative symptoms from the intensity of our anxiety.

Anxious people are not often reasonable people. Have you noticed this? They are often not praying people either, which is why I think Paul speaks of prayer as an antidote to anxiety in the very next breath.

As you pray, ask God to help you to worry less and pray more.

About the Author

David Walls is a pastor and writer who has served in ministry for more than 40 years.

This entry is part 30 of 31 in the series Philippians: To All the Saints