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Give Me a Quiet Mind

| April 18, 2013

quiet spirit

1 Peter 3:4, encourages women to beautify themselves with the imperishable beauty of a quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. “Quietness” stands in marked contrast to the “loudness” that characterizes an ungodly woman (Prov. 7:11). When we think of the word “quiet” the first thing we normally think of is audible sound. We equate “quiet” with “not talking.”

So does God expect us to shut our mouths and never say anything? Are we not allowed to express our opinions? Or discuss, deliberate, or disagree? Does godly womanhood mean we get out the duct tape and slap and “X” over our mouths?  That we mutley nod our heads up and down like bobble head dolls?

When the Bible talks about quietness, it’s not referring to an absence of verbal noise as much as it’s referring to an absence of spiritual noise. Although there’s a connection, quietness has more to do with the state of our hearts than the volume of our words.

Quiet describes a mindset of calmness, serenity and tranqulity. It’s being settled, steadfast, and peaceful. A quiet dispostion is like a still, peacefull pool of water, as opposed to a churning, agitated whirlpool. A quiet spirit is the opposite of an anxious, distressed, disorderly, and clamourous one.

I think Amy Carmichael got the idea right in her poem, “Give Me a Quiet Mind” in which she cries out to the Lord to give her this beautiful disposition:

GIVE ME A QUIET MIND

When winds are blowing, waves are rising, falling
And all the air is full of dust and spray;
When voices, like to sea birds’ plaintive calling,
Confuse my day;

Then, then I know Thee, Lord of highest heaven
In newborn need discover Thee, and find
Nought can discomfort him to whom is given
A quiet mind.

When hopes have failed, and heavy sadness crusheth,
And doubt and fear would weave their deadly spell,
Then thought of Thee my troubled spirit husheth;
And all is well.

In midnight hours when weariness ignoreth
Heaven’s starry host, and battle wounds are mine,
Then Thy right hand uplifteth and outpoureth
Love’s oil and wine.

O Blessed Lord, beyond the moment’s sorrow
I see above, beaneath, before, behind–
Eternal Love. Give me today, tomorrow,
A quiet mind.

(From the collected poems of Amy Carmichael)

 

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  1. Melissa says:

    Thanks Mary! That’s a phrase I’ve been thinking about lately, trying to figure out what it means. Your explanation fits in really well with the way Peter mentions several times that we need to be sober-minded.

    Grudem explains how the commands to be sober “forbids not only physical drunkenness but also letting the mind wander into any other kind of mental intoxication or addiction which inhibits spiritual alertness, or any laziness of mind which lulls Christians into sin through carelessness.”

    In other words, throughout the whole letter Paul keeps warning people to get rid of spiritual noise. So it makes sense that Paul would be applying this broad command more specifically to the women in 3:4.

  2. Aimee Byrd says:

    What a greast poem. It could be used as a comforting prayer for those who daily struggle with anxiety.

  3. Linda Stoll says:

    Here’s a few resources that might add to the reflective discussion on quietness …

    SUBSTANTIAL ENCOUNTERS
    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2008/08/substantial-encounters.html

    HER LIFELINE
    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2009/05/her-lifeline.html