This week, I have had to bite my tongue SO many times.
So. So. Many. Times.
Exercising this type of restraint is NOT one of my strong points. However, the Lord has given me ample opportunity to practice the whole "meek and quiet spirit" thing. Yes, it's one little verse in the Bible that is terribly difficult for me to exude without Jesus applying the duct tape to my mouth.
A few things have absolutely made my blood boil during the elections. I've been able to keep the great debater within me under control...for the most part, but I had a few slip-ups where I felt myself beginning to unleash my wrath. That is how I know that I still have a LONG way to go before I emanate a meek and quiet spirit. Sometimes, I dream about starting an anonymous blog with a pen name so I can rant about the things that really torque me...you know, just type it all out of my system! Although it is enticing, it's the wrong thing to do.
What am I learning?
That "meek and quiet spirit" that the Bible speaks of in 1 Peter 3:4 is not just about controlling my mouth on the outside. As with everything in God's Word, it's SO. MUCH. MORE. It's about the inside. It is my spirit that needs to be gentle and quiet.
The Greek word for "spirit" in this verse refers to the rational soul and mental disposition of humans.
God really upped the ante with this verse. It's no accident that it is directed specifically to women. We are masters at putting on a false front. We wear many different masks on the outside, but God knows exactly what we're thinking behind the mask.
This verse means that my thought life has to align with my mouth. It's not good enough to just zip my lip. It's a start...but I have to control my mind, too. I can't be steaming under the surface, and shooting daggers or laser beams in my mind while sitting quietly with a smile on my face. I need to "take every thought captive to obey Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5)
So how do I make my mental disposition gentle and quiet?
Well, for starters, the Lord tells me to think on things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).
In addition to thinking about those things, the Bible tells me to meditate on God's Word day and night. (Psalm 119:37)
The Greek word for "quiet" in this verse translates as still, undisturbed, and peaceable.
It's impossible to have an undisturbed and peaceable mind when I dwell on the wrong things.
Sometimes, I have to "put off" the garbage in my head so I can "put on" Godly traits that lead to a peaceful mind:
Put Off Corrupt talk- Put On Speech that builds up and gives grace (Ephesians 4:29)
Put Off Foolish talk- Put On Thanksgiving. (Ephesians 5:4)
Put Off Anxiety- Put On Peace through prayer and supplication (Philippians 4:6)
Put Off Bitterness, wrath, anger, and slander- Put On Kindness, and forgiveness (Ephesians 4:31-32)
Most importantly, I'm learning that having a meek and quiet spirit doesn't mean that I can't speak about things that concern me.
What does it mean?
It means that when I when I do speak....
I need to "open my mouth in wisdom" (Proverbs 31:26)
I need to be "diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3)
I need to "with humility of mind...regard one another as more important than myself" (Philippians 2:3)
I need to " bear with one another...whoever has a complaint against anyone..."(Colossians 3:13)
I need to "give thanks to my God always" (1 Corinthians 1:4)
Bottom Line: If I want to open my mouth, both my speech and my mind need to glorify the Lord. I truly desire a meek and quiet spirit because the Bible says it is "precious" in God's sight.
I really want to be "precious" to my Lord.
Time and time again I fail, but His mercies are new each day. Praise God for that!
Still taming the tongue,