A Quiet Life: Living at Peace with One’s Self

gray_matters_sm_cMake it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. (1 Thess 4:11, NLT)

One great embarrassment of Christians is that we talk so much and so loudly. Interviews and conversations of all kinds often remind us of a pride of lions feeding, snapping and snarling, each lunging in for a moment and then getting shoved aside by others.

The rudeness of too much talk, quick-draw responses without reflection, and the obsession with speaking to every issue and answering every question are bruising and tiring to others. The courteous individual is by and large a quiet person, unfazed by others’ frantic conversation. The quiet life does not seek the spotlight, and may actually be embarrassed by it.

And in truth, the quietness Paul mentions in his letter to the Thessalonians is about much more than words. It’s about a spirit, a healthy attitude toward one’s self, others, and life. A quiet life testifies to being at peace with one’s self, while incessant talking and scurrying about testify to an emptiness and the frantic search to fill it.

Jesus certainly could hold his own with those who attacked him verbally and maliciously. But the New Testament paints numerous pictures of him as a quiet man: peacefully asleep in a boat during a storm (Luke 8:23), kneeling without a word and writing in the sand while angry people prepared to stone a lady caught in adultery (John 8:6), and making “still no reply” to Pilate for all the false and hypocritical charges brought against him (Mark 15:5, NIV). He delivered his most famous speech, the Sermon on the Mount, on a quiet mountainside (Matt 5–7). Sometimes after doing some front-page type of miracle, he sternly told his disciples not to speak of it to anyone (Matt 9:30).

A Quote to Remember

Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune or in misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm. (Robert Louis Stevenson)

Think on These Things

Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. (Ps 4:4, NLT)

Be still, and know that I am God! In quietness and trust is your strength. (Ps 46:10, NLT; Isa 30:15, NIV)

Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. (1 Pet 3:4, ESV)

Prayer

Lord of the stillness, call forth in my heart the peace and purpose that shows itself in a gentle and quiet life. Help me find peace within, no matter what is going on around me. Amen.

This originally appeared as the thirty-first devotion in Gray Matters by Edwin Ray Frazier.

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