Sunday, February 14, 2021

A Gentle and Quiet Spirit

"Do not let your adornment be merely outward...rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." 1 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV

 We had three growth groups meeting in separate areas of the main meeting room at our church. One group was posting their discussion on zoom. Later, when I watched the zoom video, I was dismayed to hear my own voice participating in the discussion with a completely different growth group halfway across the room. "Am I really that loud?" I wondered.  "Have  I always been that loud?" "Did I become loud because our family tends to be loud?" "Have I developed a loud speaking voice because of decades of public speaking?" 
To be honest, as is prone to happen, the thoughts magnified the more I dwelt on them and I became disheartened and wondered, "will I ever have the gentle and quiet spirit that is precious in God's sight?" "What does that even mean and how do I do it?"

I decided to try to unpack what God was really saying to me through those verses by using one of my favorite bible study tools. I simply typed the words, "greek lexicon for 1 Peter 3:4" in the search engine bar on my computer. Up popped Bible Hub  which took me to the definitions of the words of the verse in the original language. What treasure and reassurance and comfort I found!  

First of all, God's focus in these verses is on our innermost being. He is telling us that He is much more concerned about what is happening within us than our outward appearance. So, while I might want to try to tone down my speaking voice and while I definitely want to guard what I say and how I say it, God's primary concern is what is happening in the hidden person, (my inner secret thoughts, feelings and desires), of my heart, (my inner self, who I really am, the center of my being, the desire producer in me that makes me tick). This is the part of me that is incorruptible. My body is aging and decaying but the inner me is imperishable, un-decaying and immortal. God's primary concern is my transformation into Christlikeness in this part of me. It is there that He wants to see the beauty of a gentle and quiet, (still, peaceful, tranquil, settled, steady, calm, undisturbed) spirit. When God looks at me and sees His peace ruling in the innermost depths of who I am, He values it as something costly and of great value in His eyes.

What I gleaned from all of this was the understanding that God is much more invested in making me quiet, peaceful and tranquil within than making me quiet outwardly. However, as He changes me inwardly there will also be outward manifestations. In my opinion, God doesn't want to give me a completely different personality. He just wants to transform my personality back to His original plan and design for me-before sin and experiences and life tainted and twisted me in any way. He wants the God image in me that He put within me from creation to be more clearly seen through my personality. He is so good and so kind. He doesn't despise or shame me for falling short. He's not up there shaking His finger at me and asking me, "Why do you always have to be so loud?!" He's looking at my heart. He sees that my heart's cry is, "Lord, change me!" and every day He gives me new mercy and enabling grace to keep moving forward in my journey toward Christlikeness and maturity.

1 comment:

  1. This is something I think of often in the Montessori school where I am a toddler teacher. It is something that I try to be working on within myself.


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