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“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 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.” I Peter 3:3-4 NIV
What is a quiet spirit? Does quiet refer to volume? If I criticize my husband at a lower decibel, is that preferable to shouting “I LOVE YOU” from a rooftop? Well, rather than listen to the many voices that might (quietly or otherwise) tell us what quiet means, let us defer to the writer, the Apostle Peter, and see what he might have meant by quiet. Peter used the Greek word hesuchios/hesuchos, which translated means tranquil, still, quiet, peaceful. In one place in the New Testament, Paul used a form of the word that means still and undisturbed to imply ‘keeping one’s seat’, or as I like to say, ‘holding one’s tongue’. But, I’m not sure that a quiet spirit just refers to holding one’s tongue. I can bite my tongue until it bleeds, but still shout a lecture worth of words with my demeanor and attitude! Some people are quiet, but awkwardly so. Fingernails scraping a chalkboard or being alone with them for five minutes; which is better? Both are uncomfortable. So, what is a quiet spirit? In the Old Testament, we see an example of a similar Hebrew word, for quiet, menuchah, meaning resting place, comforting place of rest, translated as still waters in Psalm 23. In the familiar Psalm, we can all picture our own dreamy place of quiet rest when we hear the words quoted:
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. Psalm 23:2 KJV
Let me suggest that a quiet spirit is a state of being content and at rest, free from anxiety, stress, strife and chaos. Quiet — as the stream flowing along, secure within its banks, not as a babbling brook, or a roaring river, but just quietly still, a powerful force of peace. We should strive for that type of peace in our life. And how do we get there? Take a deep breath, and take a lesson from the deer, who know a thing or two about quietness!
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? . . . Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:1, 2, 7, 8
Only in prayer and meditation do I find that kind of peace. Don’t delay or avoid having a time of meditation and prayer as often as you need it, to maintain peace in your life. Go to the river of life, take a cool drink of the water of life, listen to the voice of many waters, and let the cleansing flow wash away your worry and anxiety.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-7 NIV
Let me challenge you today to strive to become to your husband as the still waters. Be a calm sea where he can float on a peaceful bark, not choppy waters in the sea of anxiety, or a tsunami of threatening and destructive tidal forces. Be a cool, calm, source of flowing peaceful comfort, and be refreshed as you are refreshing! Be blessed with quiet stillness today!
For a free download of The Beauty of a Gentle and Quiet Spirit for Type A Personalities, go here.
Won Without Words by Shari Popejoy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at blog.wonwithoutwords.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.injoyinc.com/.