Nothing like walking out of the baby’s room to find my husband finishing reading his Bible… and then deciding when he has left for work that I should have some God time, too. No, I shouldn’t wait for guilt or some other similar feeling to propel me towards an intentional conversation with God, but I’m glad it did this morning nonetheless.
I opened my journal this morning for the first time in more than a month.
And opened right to where I had copied 1 Peter 3:4
Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
Then, in trying to find the next blank page, my thumb hit an entry I wrote months ago… one in which I asked God to help me with gentleness (though I didn’t call it that at the time. There were various parts of my actions and demeanor that I wanted help with, and it was only today that I assigned the word “gentleness” to those things… and asked for His help again!).
This is what my KeyWord Study Bible says in the lexical aids in the back about the word “gentle” in that verse in 1 Peter:
4558. πραΰς praus (that’s the Greek): meek, mild, gengle.
Deriv.: πραΰτης prautes
This is part of what is said about prautes:
Meekness, but not in a man’s outward behavior only, nor in his relations to his fellow man or his mere natural disposition, but an inwrought grace of the soul expressed primarily toward God… according to Aristotle, is the middle ground between two extremes, getting angry without reason, and not getting angry at all... is a condition of mind and heart which demonstrates gentleness, not in weakness but in power. It is a balance born in strength of character.
It’s funny… I was asking God to help me, as the lexical aids say, have gentleness in my “relations” and my “natural disposition” but I find that next part really interesting… and convicting.
“an inwrought grace of the soul expressed primarily toward God”
Does this mean that my attitude towards God – the state of my soul, which affects what and how I express myself towards God – affects my “natural disposition” and the gentleness that I use in my relationships? It makes sense.
And I feel silly for not realizing it before, and also humbled and so thankful that in trying to find a blank page to talk to Him, God brought me to those pages in my journal and showed me what exactly He wanted to talk to me about. And here, when I know I want to post some of what I was feeling about gentleness I look in the lexical aids to find out what does the word “gentle” means in Greek anyway and here I am… being completely floored by God… again.
I want to discover what exactly it means to have an inwrought grace… expressed to God by my soul…
*On a side note, I used to be part of this amazing women’s Bible study in high school. We had beaded bracelets, each with a fruit of the spirit on it. Each week, we would share which fruit of the spirit we thought we needed the most based on what was happening in our lives at that moment.
I think I need to make myself some bracelets…