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Let your gentleness be made known to all men. The Lord is at hand. (Philippians 4:5)
The word translated gentleness (ἐπιεικής epieikēs) is an adjective used as a noun in this verse. It can be translated as mildness or gentleness. Paul is saying that we should live a life that all men can see our gentleness – our being in the mind of Christ. Be known (γινώσκω ginōskō) indicates it is part of the church’s reputation. Gentleness implies selflessness and respect for others. While seldom mentioned in Paul’s writings, gentleness is expected of believers and Christian leaders.
Paul’s statement – “The Lord is at hand” has caused some to see this as a difficulty in the Bible because Paul makes the Lord’s return sound close, and many other passages sound like there is a list of signs to be fulfilled before He returns. See the section Bible Difficulties (2) at the end of this chapter for more discussion on this topic.
More in-depth Insights
Let your gentleness be made known to all men. Let others see your gentleness. Of course, this does not mean that Christians are to make a grandiose, pretentious display of it. What it means is that gentleness is a Christian quality that should stand out naturally for all to see. The Greek word (ἐπιεικής epieikēs) gentleness pertains to being gracious and forbearing, ‘gentle, gracious, considerate.’
The Lord is at hand. The Greek phrase (ἐγγύς eggus) at hand was likely a common expression among first-century Christians, as is nigh today among KJV readers. It means close in time. It is a point of time after another point of time, but relatively close. John said of Jesus, ἐγγὺς ἦν τὸ πάσχα τῶν Ἰουδαίων “the Passover of the Jews was near (ἐγγύς eggus), and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.” (Jn 2:13) How they understood the phrase at hand specifically is impossible to know. It could have meant the second coming of Christ to judge the wicked. It was a phrase to keep at the forefront of their minds to keep them always on alert. If one thought that the second coming of Jesus was at hand, could happen any moment, they would not overindulge in the fallen world of wicked mankind that would soon be destroyed. We should live as though Jesus is returning tomorrow but plan as though it is fifty years away. In other words, there is nothing wrong with getting a higher education, having a family, a house, building a business, and so on. However, if one sets aside the will of the Father and their ministry to pursue these things, therein lies the problem.
 Wesley J. Perschbacher, ed., The New Analytical Greek Lexicon, ed. Wesley J. Perschbacher (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1990). Page 161,
 Refer back to chapter 2:1-4.
 Read 1 Timothy 3:3 and Titus 3:2.