“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” (v. 5)
To use a naval term, let us be "even keeled" or steadfast in all endeavors. This is a restraint of passions and indulgences of appetites; it is to control rage, and extinguish anger. Moderation is the "middle of the road", so to speak, and not drastic swings to the right or left. It is no extreme or excess in any direction or practice. When we allow others to anger us, we are not practicing moderation. If we are not angry all the time, we should not get angry any time! This is a very hard thing to practice, but the Word never changes, only circumstances change. When we react to circumstances, we are no longer acting on the Word of God. So, why should we do this? Because "the Lord is at hand."
The Lord demands an evenness in our person, a moderation of temper and appetites. Overindulgence most always leads to trouble in some respect, as well as extreme swings in attitudes and moods. If I find myself in adverse circumstances, and perhaps someone strikes me, am I still to remain moderate in temper? Is retaliation justified at such times? Let me ask, in answer to that, does the Bible change with each situation? No. It still says, every time we read it, “Let your moderation be known unto all men…” even if the situation is not a pleasant one. This does not mean that I have have attained to this height yet, please don’t get me wrong. I have struck out at adversity, and, no doubt, I will again, but know when I do it I am not doing what the Bible says to do. My point is, we too often allow the circumstances in life to dictate our actions, and ignore, at times, the Word and principles of God. We then become a child of circumstance, and at the whim of every evil that comes along. A great man once said that “if you anger a man, you have conquered him already”, or something to that effect, and I see that it is a true statement.
Let’s endeavor to be of moderate temper, at least, and that alone will be quite an improvement for most of us; and, along the way, let us also be moderate in our actions, and appetites, and we will have accomplished a great deal toward godliness.