My Journey On Cultivating a Gentle and Quiet Spirit
Ever since I was a young girl, I have been usually told that I tend to be a quiet, and calm person. Though little did those people realise, that within the depths of my heart, my soul then had a tendency to be constantly overwhelmed with fear, distress and frustration. And though my outer demeanour may have seemed serene and quiet, what was happening within my soul was an entirely different story. For I was always crippled with unhappiness and worry. There was an unhealthy need for control that dominated my heart, and the closer I grew to Christ, the more uncomfortable I found myself remaining in that position. Ever so slowly, but surely, I eventually came to a place of surrender. And I allowed the Lord to touch those wounded places within my heart that had kept my soul bounded with stress. Then one day, I found myself coming across a certain scripture about the gentle and quiet spirit:
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” – 1 Peter 3:3-4
Growing up throughout my teenage years, I was always concerned about how I looked. I tried everything within my reach to appear the best and receive the appraisal from my peers. From the glamorous hairstyles, to the perfect makeup and the fabulous clothing. Even down to the point of aiming to polish my behaviour, from the way I walked, to the way I talked and interacted with others. But eventually, the time came where I became absolutely exhausted of trying to keep up an image that was absolutely false and unauthentic. And when I first became a Christian at the age of 18, the issue wasn’t initially addressed in my heart until I came across that beautiful scripture.
The words incorruptible beauty (some translations say ‘unfading beauty’) had pierced my heart with such deep revelation and greater understanding as to why I felt like I was lacking something within. For the makeup washes off at the end of the day, and the pretty clothes I wear are completely perishable. But there is an incorruptible beauty that is rooted deep within the spirit, and it is so much more valuable and special than any earthly beauty products that this world could possibly offer.
What is a gentle and quiet spirit?
The dictionary defines being gentle as being tender, affectionate and kind. It also defines quiet as calm and undisturbed, without loud noise. As I dwelled on these definitions within my heart, there were issues within my soul that became magnified.
A quiet spirit
I had always experienced trouble when it comes to being still within my soul, allowing my heart to rest and be at peace within the Lord’s love. Rather than having a quiet spirit, I was raging within with so much fear and stress that would never budge away. My soul would ring with never-ending thoughts of worry, which completely hindered me from experiencing the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. And due to my spirit not resting quietly, it often reflected in my attitude toward life and others. It was as though I always viewed every detail through the lens of chaos and worry. Through which, it was almost impossible for me to view myself, and my life, as beautiful. I thought I could cover it up with the glamorous trends and acting in a way that would please others. But the more drowned myself in deceit, the further away from freedom I found myself. To have a quiet spirit, means to have a peaceful spirit. Which beautifully radiates toward others. And it is through cultivating a quiet spirit, by God’s help, that I am able to work on blossoming within my inner beauty.
I believe obtaining a quiet spirit can also mean to grow in modesty and meekness. In my younger years, I must admit that I was someone who thought they knew it all. Unfortunately, I grew up listening to popular pop music that often shared the message of, ‘if you have it, flaunt it’. And the Lord really had to humble me and prune my heart to the point where I had died completely to self, in order that Christ may be glorified. I used to believe that by flaunting all the good and beautiful things that I have acquired, I may be of more worth or importance in the sight of others. But that only got me into deeper trouble. I found myself on an absolutely draining roller coaster of emotions. Tired of trying to prove to everyone my worth, my beauty, my knowledge and my accomplishments. I was too quick to speak, and very slow to listen. I was selfish. Placing my heart and desires above everyone else’s, because I was truly focused on myself and trying to win the praise of others.
As I have grown deeper in precious intimacy with the Lord, His glory and majestic beauty has become so potent within my heart that I have denied myself and exalted Him within every area of my life. One of my favourite scriptures in the bible is when John the Baptist said, “He must increase, and I must decrease.” (John 3:30) There is a humble state that the Lord has positioned me in, and daily I have learnt and continued to surrender and submit to Him daily. Understanding that I was created for His glory alone. And that without Him, I am nothing. My eyes shall continually be fixated upon the beauty and splendour of our King, and He moulds my heart beautifully in the palm of His hands.
Words cannot express how grateful I am to the Lord for stripping me of all the things that do not please Him. Through His gracious, gentle and unfailing love, His warmth has melted away the coldness that hardened my heart. And I am now growing with Him on the journey of flourishing to become more like His beloved Son.
A gentle spirit
A gentle spirit is something I’ve had to cultivate throughout the course my life. And though since I was little, many people have often told me that I’m a gentle, soft person, there are many times where I find that I have to work on maintaining that through those moments where I may have bad days. Those hard days where I may have received bad news, or if I have been treated in a mean way, or if I am feeling slightly irritable or unwell. My flesh doesn’t always want to be tender, kind and affectionate with others on those days. But I have learnt that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I have been able to depend wholeheartedly on the Lord for his help. For His strength is made perfect in my weakness. Through which, I now delight in being kind, tender and affectionate with others. Sharing the gracious love and care of Christ, that He has shared with me. Giving respect to all those I come in contact with, and shining with the light of Jesus that illuminates so beautifully to others.
I believe that blossoming within incorruptible beauty, and a gentle and quiet spirit is something that never ends. We will always be learning, always growing, always flourishing to become more like Christ. And I am so thankful to the Lord for His hand on me, working deeply at the roots, to nourishing my petals. Softening my heart and helping me to rise within the heavenly beauty that pleases Him wonderfully.
Thank you for reading, if you delighted in this post, I think you will adore The Beauty of Biblical Femininity
Lots of love, Devona xxx