A Gentle & Quiet Spirit

aI noticed as I was reading the Word in I Peter 3:4 that it tells us women to not only make our adornment merely outwardly, but 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 sign of God.  I want to be to very precious in the sight of God don’t you? 

Then what does that mean?  Actually a good definition for this is the word meek.  Then what does meek or gentle mean?  It is:

The dictionary says gentleness is an inward attitude which is expressed in an outward action.   Gentleness is a fruit produced by the Holy Spirit which is grown. (Gal 5:22,23).  In the french versions of the Greek they use the word douceur, which has the meaning of sweetness, mildness, gentleness, and good nature.  Gentleness is never self-important but is considerate, courteous, and modest, yet willing to try when a job needs to be done.  The Full Life Study Bible says it is “restraint, coupled with strength and courage.”

James 1:21 commands us to get rid of all filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and with a humble gentleness accept the word planted in us, which can save us.

It takes courage to be gentle.  Webster says, ” having and showing a quiet and gentle nature, not wanting to fight or argue with other people.  Having self-restraint.  Enduring injury with patience and without resentment.”  Being humble, modest, unassuming and submissive.  And in this passage it is referring to being submissive to our husbands in gentleness and with a quiet spirit, verse 5.  

The meek do not resent adversity because they accept everything as being the effort of God’s wise and loving purpose for them.  They accept injuries from others, knowing that these are permitted by God for the ultimate good of their spiritual growth.

Again, we come to the key words of either: 1) responding to the Holy Spirit, or 2) reacting in our flesh.  This seems to be a principle that we are challenged with daily.  

The fruit of the Spirit are grown and don’t  just  automatically appear.  We have to put to death the works of the flesh.  In order to have the fruit of the Spirit we have to first be aware of them, then cultivate them, exercise them, be diligent to incorporate them into our daily lives. 

Gentleness or meekness is not weakness nor is it self-debasing or a belittling of oneself.  Gentleness is not being hard and condemning, it is not self-exalting, but fully submitted to the will of God.  Being meek is very important to God because it say that “the Meek shall inherit the earth.”

Lets look at some examples:

Moses –

Called the meekest man on the face of the earth! Moses had married an Ethiopian woman (Numb 12:1-3) and Moses’ brother and sister got together and started speaking against her because she was an Ethiopian.  However, Moses bore this personal injury by his relatives without resentment or recrimination (retaliation).

 Jesus –

Went befor His accusers and nopened not His mouth.  He didn’t fight back in self defense.  Picture a lamb.  Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God.  Like a sheep led to the slaughter, they do not put up a fight or struggle.

 Moses was meek (not weak) yet he still maintained his strength of leadership.  Jesus did not lesson His Lordship or Sonship.  In fact, He was even to be more admired because of His courage and attitude.  There is an old saying someone use to say, “walk softly but carry a big stick.”  Someone who has His spirit and inward attitude under control does not indicate weakness.  Today and in times past, it is the self confident that are commended.  But Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek.  He said blessed are you because you have recognized your exceeding sinfulness (blessed are the poor in spirit), mourned over the fact with total repentance (blessed are they that mourn), and blessed are the meek.  They have been humbled.  They see that they have nothing to give to God and are nothing (apart from Him and His grace), that they have no righteousness of their own (only His righteousness), and that all they have or ever will be can only come from God by His sheer grace alone.

Therefore we have a humble, non-assertive attitude about ourselves.  We do not think more highly of ourselves than we should, but esteem others more highly than ourselves.

Remember Moses at the burning bush.  Who me?  No Lord, I can’t!

He was not hi-minded even then!  He was modest in his estimation of himself.

The opposite, of course, is being one who is domineering, blustering, haughty, arrogant and proud.

I do not believe that meekness has to do with the outward personality of a person.  A shy person can be proud or haughty.  So if you have an exuberant,  joyous, personality it doesn’t mean you cant be meek, because it is an inward attitude towards ourselves and God.  That’s what God wants.

When we see who we are in Christ and that we are only what I are by His grace, and when we see that He is worthy to be trusted with all our life; then we need not struggle,  need not fight,  need not defend ourselves.  We need not worry, stew or fret over anything!  Because our Father loves us!  We know that His aim is to do us well!