You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. I Peter 3:4 NLT
Ivy was a sweet, little girl being transported north to her new forever home. Each driver that met her said she was the nicest dog they had ever met and if the adoption didn’t work out they’d love to take her home. Ivy was sweet, loving, quiet and gentle. She cuddled and kissed and was totally settled with everyone and everything. Not that other dogs lack these qualities but Ivy embodied the very definition of gentle.
Dogs and people have different personalities. If we didn’t it would probably be a boring world that looked like some of the science fiction movies. Everyone would be walking and talking the same. God loves each of us just as we are but he also shows us how to grow into his image.
Some of us already have a gentle, quiet spirit but if you are like me; you aren’t quite there yet. There may be too much bark to your bite and little things disquiet your peace causing aggravation, fear and worry.
In the above verse, Peter is talking to wives about letting their beauty be from the inside and not only making ourselves look good on the outside. There are enough verses in the Bible encouraging us to be beautiful on the inside that I do not believe a gentle, quiet spirit is only for women. Colossians 3:12 puts it like this, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” Titus 3:2 tells us, “To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” It seems a shame that we need to be told to play nice with others.
The bible doesn’t only tell us what we should put on but it tells us what to take off. Ephesians 4:31 states, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander along with every form of malice.” Sometimes, we need to empty ourselves of the junk inside before we can replace it with the qualities that will emulate Jesus to the world. Past hurts and confrontations can leave us filled with resentment, fear and bitterness. What is inside of us eventually shows up on the outside, visible for the world to see.
Take a hard look at your words, actions, thoughts and attitudes today. Is there anything that you would prefer to keep hidden? If so, tell God. It won’t surprise him and he will be happy to help you dig it up, deal with it and discard it. Then ask him to fill you with his spirit. A gentle, quiet spirit that reflects the image of God.