Sunday, July 5, 2009

Gentle and quiet??

Sometimes it is easier to show people the inside of my messsy cupboards than to reveal any signs of inner mess. After all, we are what we DO right? No. We are what we are inside, outside, upsidedown. And here I am--not revealing my dirty closets (again) just my pathetic little self.

My dear husband takes his turn speaking at our chapel, and he did a masterful job of I Peter 3. When I say masterful, I mean.. he didn't make the ladies feel squirmish about it, including me. That is talent, because I have a lot of insecurities in these areas.

Those ladies who are quiet naturally.. you know the type.. always seem godlier to me. So, when I was younger and more energetic about these things, I just wanted to force myself into quiet and gentle. That's right. By a sheer act of the will I was going to be quiet and gentle. darn it.

This social experiement had about as much success as trying to shake up a bottle of pop and then say to it, "now don't explode.. just hold it in.." Sooner or later, the bottle is gonna blow. And then when it does explode, look out! I used to fear for the targets of my bottled up extroversion...

So, I do not really know at what age that I learned to accept the fact that I was the way I was, and I'll never cut it as a godly woman. I felt there was only two choices: 1) continue forcing myself into sealed pop bottle or 2) be myself, much to the chagrin of everyone in my path.

So, for the past 10? years I've been forging ahead with option #2 with almost no real problem with it except for periodic bouts of guilt. And then I have huge guilt whenever anyone goes to I Peter 3. I even wondered at the audacity of my husband preaching on THIS passage with ME being the way I am.

But here is what happened. Rather than using the pulpit to "put me in my place", he used it as opportunity to affirm anything good he could find in me. He mentioned that the gentle and quiet was not about personality, but on spirit. In fact, I rarely think about this but those women who are so quiet may be having a turbulent inner spirit at times also. The struggles of introverts and extroverts may be different but the goal of a gentle and quiet spirit is the same.

I found this to be encouraging--not because I think I have it all together, but because there really is room in the body for different personalities and temperments. Thank you, Lord.


Kathryn said...

Thank you for sharing this!

I'm an introvert, so i do come across as "gentle, quiet, & calm." But the stuff inside!!!

The differentiation between personality & spirit is enlightening. Thank you for sharing. :)

Ruby said...

Yes, thanks for sharing these thoughts. I know too well the exploding bottle feeling!
I've even had my children whisper, you're not going to say anything are you mum? When they see the question/ answer bubbling up in me!
Thankfully, the Lord has made us all different. It is the tongue and attitude we need to tame.

Holly said...

I really appreciated this post. I could really identify with your thoughts. Oh, those internal struggles!! Holly

Mrs. Parunak said...

Oh boy, are you ever right about that. I am one of the quiet ones, so I can tell you from experience that my spirit is not always gentle and quiet. I think a gentle and quiet spirit means that your spirit is kind, not looking to hurt others, that it's trusting in the Lord, at peace. You can be none of these things and still not say a word. And you can be a bubbly, friendly, chatty type and be all of them.

Laura said...

I can so relate. I am most certainly not a "quiet" type and it's only been the past couple of years I've come to accept this is who I am. So freeing isn't it!

momstheword said...

Very true. Often people confuse meek and quiet spirit with meek and quiet personality.

I once told someone I was praying for a meek and quiet spirit and they laughed. They thought exactly that, that I was praying to be a meek and quiet person, what they deemed as being shy.

I am not quiet either. Never will be I guess. But God has made all of us for His purposes. So I'm glad He can use each of us to glorify Him!

Catherine (Alecat Music) said...

Growing through my teens, I was determined to change my personality to become the chatty type! I had few friends, at school or at church, so I figured the onus was on me. :)
Isn't it funny how we perceive ourselves?
As time went on, I found that I really didn't want to befriend those I thought were the 'better', 'chattier' roles models, but rather those with a kindness of heart and who knew how to express themselves to edify others. Change of focus ... and a now a most delightful selection of friends who accept me for who I am, sharing our gifts to encourage each other. That's what it's about. :)

Anonymous said...

Acceptance of ones own personality - I guess we all need to contemplate on this more. HE did make us all different on purpose, not by accident. ~Brenda

Anonymous said...

Great reflection. I love Beverly LaHaye's book titled "Spirit-Controlled Woman". We can learn to appreciate owr own temperments as well as those very different from us. God is so good and He provides us with the encouragement to love our sisters despite these differences. Mom