While I'm in my home office this morning, trying to read my Bible and pray and write this blog post, I hear the pounding of a hammer, the ripping up of flooring, and the voices of men working. It's a whole lot easier to keep a gentle and peaceful spirit that isn't anxious and wrought up when everything around me is neat and tidy and peaceful and quiet. However, that's not been my reality since mid-July when we put our former house up for sale, moved into our new to us house, and started updating it.
In 1 Peter chapter one, verse 3 is often the one that we hear emphasized. It warns us against overly focusing on our outward appearance. To me it's the following verse, verse 4, that convicts me the most. God wants the inner me to be clothed with peace and gentleness, not anxiety, not being wrought up, (which means agitated, stressed, tense, overwrought, nervous, on edge, keyed up, worked up, flustered, fretful or upset). Let's face it, that's easier said than done when life is chaotic or stressful or when we are walking through times of trial and tribulation.
Years ago, I wrote out twenty six Bible verses, rewriting them in first person so that I could speak them aloud as daily faith declarations. 1 Peter 3:4 is one of those verses. Today I spoke aloud, as a prayer, as a declaration of faith, "I have a gentle and peaceful spirit that is not anxious or wrought up". Let it be so, Lord, for me and for all who read these words. Amen.