“Rather, 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.” – 1 Peter 3:4
In today’s terms, a gentle and quiet spirit isn’t a compliment. Society likes to associate the words “gentle” and “quiet” as weak, insecure, and powerless, as If this wasn’t further from the truth!
God brings up the idea of this “gentle and quiet spirit” a few times throughout the Bible. In Titus 3:2, this spirit means “to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”
Let’s talk about the first part of this verse. Slandering means to insult, lie about, or speak negatively about another person. God makes a strong effort to address this kind of gossiping in the Bible. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
When we make a conscious effort to tear down others, how are we benefitting from it? In the big picture of things, it only spreads negativity and hatefulness around to others. A gentle and quiet spirit would remove themselves from these situations, continuing to encourage and build others up no matter how much they’ve hurt you!
The second part of this verse, “to be peaceable and considerate,” means to take into account the feelings of others, not just your own. Be the peacemaker in your family, your friend group, your sports team, etc. When we’re peaceable, patient, and mindful, God uses this to display his light and love through us.
Now let’s talk about the word “gentle.” Gentle means to be kind, slow to anger, and compassionate. It doesn’t mean to be weak or timid, but to have that of a gentle mindset toward others.
It’s easy to feed off of anger and hostility, and that’s why God calls us to do the opposite. He wants us to think before we speak and to bite our tongues even when our minds are elsewhere.
In James 1:19-20, it says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
As sinful human beings, this doesn’t come natural or easy to us. Our first thought is to argue, to prove ourselves right, or to make the other person feel less. Temptation and pride creeps in, making us want to do all of these things when the opportunity presents itself.
In these situations, pray. Ask God for the strength and ability to turn away from the temptation to sin. Ask him to make you more like him: gentle, quiet, peaceful, and calm.
I challenge you for the next week to be conscious. Practice this gentle and quiet spirit that God wants each of us to have. When we do this, we become more like him each and every day!