Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; (ESV)
How do you react to people? Perhaps someone falsely accuses you of something. Do you aggressively defend yourself while displaying anger and rage at the injustice? Maybe you are having a disagreement with a family member. Have you disowned them? When it comes to those in need are you inclined to help them? The Apostle Paul has instruction on how we ought to generally act towards others. He uses the word reasonableness.
Our reasonableness should be known to everyone. In other words, when people see how you react to things they ought to see you as being reasonable. I am not sure if this always describes me unfortunately, but I believe that the value of displaying this attribute is that it will help people to see Christ in us. Here is how Dr. John MacArthur defines this word for us:
This refers to contentment with and generosity toward others. It can also refer to mercy or leniency toward the faults and failures of others. It can even refer to patience in someone who submits to injustice or mistreatment without retaliating. Graciousness with humility encompasses all the above.
- MacArthur Study Bible Notes
As Christians we are to be reasonable. Paul finishes the verse by saying, "The Lord is at hand." If we realize that God's presence is with us we should want to act in such a way that pleases him. In fact, if he is near and helping us we will act like he acts. He did not even defend himself when he was falsely accused and ultimately crucified. That is our model.
Are you reasonable to everyone? It's not an easy task. The Lord is near. He is a model for you, and he also will empower you.