Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
By "moderation" is meant, not temperance in the gratification of our desires generally, but specially temperance or self-restraint in our relations to others, abstinence from anger, harshness, vengeance. Elsewhere in the New Testament, where the original word occurs, the rendering is "gentleness," "clemency," "patience," any one of which is preferable to this ambiguous "moderation." The exact idea is "a considerate and forbearing spirit." The apostle would have us make allowances for the ignorance and weakness of others, knowing how much and constant need we stand in of having allowances made for ourselves, both by God and man. Taken generally, his precept here calls upon us, for example, in our business dealings, to remember that human laws, however carefully devised, may ever and anon, if rigidly enforced, act unjustly and cruelly; and to guide ourselves therefore, in every case, by the broad principles of equity in the sight of God. Similarly, in our judgment of the conduct of men, it enjoins upon us to take a kindly view, wherever this is possible, never believing evil of them until we cannot help it. In the case which seems to be at present specially before Paul's mind, that of a person who is "persecuted for righteousness' sake," he would have the sufferer to form the mildest judgment he can respecting the procedure and character of his enemy; to remember and pity the melancholy darkness of soul which prompts the persecution; and, even if he be in a position to avenge himself, to withhold his hand, and leave the matter with the Lord Jesus. When He comes, all wrongs will be righted (James 5:9).
(R. Johnstone, LL. B.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.