Sunday, October 01, 2006

Gentle and Quiet - Me?

I've been chewing on this for quite a while, let me know what you think! I've had a love/hate relationship with 1 Peter 3:4 for a long time now. I love it because I want to live God's way and anything that is of great worth to Him gets my attention. I hate it because I don't feel like I can do it. 1 Peter 3:4 says, "Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

For those of you that know me, it's no surprise that I find this a difficult thing to attain. I have a loud, sarcastic personality and a weird sense of humor. So I have been trying to figure out for a few years now why God would think this was very important and not even give me the chance to live up to it.

I have been wrongly believing that this gentle and quiet spirit is personality driven. It's not! The word used for gentle in this verse is the form of the word that is used in the Fruit of the Spirit. It means meekness toward God, a disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good without disputing or resisting. In the Greek Lexicon I looked up (I know - it's amazing what you can learn on the internet) it said that in the Old Testament the meek were those who wholly relied on God rather than their own strength.

Furthermore, in Holman's Bible Dictionary is said that meekness is a trait of gentleness and humility, the opposite of which is pride. It does not refer to weakness or passivity but to controlled power.

So what's my point you may ask? Well, I have been mistaken for a long time. This does not deal with my temperment or personality, it deals with my heart. And I need to have a heart that is willing to let God deal with me, that is humble and gentle.

It certainly eases the pressure on people like me. But I think there is another danger here. There are some people who DO have a gentle and quiet personality. You know, they wear jumpers (ok, not all the time), never speak out of turn and are always appropriate in every situation. But I think they could fall into the trap of feeling that they are all over this, but their hearts could be prideful and hard towards God's workings in their life.

So whatever your personality may be, God gave it to you for a purpose, so be yourself. But train your heart to be gentle and meek. I hope that I am known as a loud, boisterous person with a soft heart. I also hope that God will work in my heart so that meekness can smooth some of my personality's rough edges. I want to have a heart that is open to God's work.

2 Corinthians 10:1
"By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you . . ."

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Oh, a subject that God has worked with me for a while now . . . I was DELIGHTED to . . .um, discover? no, reach an "Ah-ha!" moment while reading the book
"Captivating" and you might like what I learned. I posted about it here:
http://betweendiapersanddishes.blogspot.com/2006/08/captivating.html#comments
I see that you are already on the same track when you saw that a quiet spirit is those who wholly relied on God rather than their own strength. And controlled power to me was/is my definition of submission.