Cumulus clouds stand out in stark contrast against the intense red sunrise in the northern horizon. Different from the blanket of loose clouds above them, the way these hold their shape and definition captivates my attention. And I ponder, how would I be defined by appearance and externals? I met a lot of new moms yesterday at a field trip with the calculating one and wonder what these women saw in me. How would they describe me? What did they notice about me? It seems what's going on inside a person always finds a way to bubble to the surface (Luke 6:45; Proverbs 4:23).
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand... Philippians 4:4-5
Let my reasonableness be known to everyone. The NIV translates it gentleness; the NLT: consideration; the KJV: moderation. By definition, it means equitable, fair-minded, gentle. It's greek root words literally translate to copy over. What am I suppose to copy over? I believe it's connected to the next phrase: the Lord is at hand. To show the world what God looks like. He is near, fair, gentle and in control of every detail of my life.

If am conscious of God's sovereign orchestration of all things in my life for His glory and my good, this will be apparent to those around me. And Paul goes on to tell us what this looks like on us: not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
  • Joy, joy, joy, joy
  • Absence of anxiety
  • Communication with God
  • Trust
  • Gratitude
  • Peace
If these attributes were true of one, that person would stand out against the normal culture of fear, anxiety, selfishness and complaint like the cumulus cloud in my morning sunrise.
But how do I start? Again, Paul does not leave us hanging, he says, start with your thoughts.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
And so when adversity creeps my way and I'm tempted to chameleon to the world's pattern of complaint and self-centeredness, sirens of alert should be going off in my head. STOP! Change course. I want to stand out against the crowd, I want to copy Jesus. Guard my thoughts. In this particularly challenging situation, what is 

  • True
  • Honorable
  • Just
  • Pure
  • Lovely
  • Admirable
  • Excellent
  • Worthy of praise?
By choosing to direct my thought patterns, my reasonableness will be known by those around me so they can see what Jesus is like. Jesus is different than the world we live in. He is love, joy, peace, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and controlled. I choose to copy Him.
What situation are you facing today that you need to stop and adjust your thought patterns so that what's in your heart beautifully bubbles up to the top and mirrors Jesus to the people in your sphere of influence? 

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