The Christian should live a quiet life. This is a life that is peaceful toward others and a life that is not focused on creating controversy or strife. Now, please appreciate that this should be the Christian’s ambition. However, the Christian does not control how the world reacts to the gospel. For instance, Jesus said that the one who lives for Him will even experience division within his/her own family (Matthew 10:34-39). Furthermore, the early Christians gained the reputation for turning the world upside down from those who were not willing to accept the gospel and desired to silence their preaching (Acts 17:6).
Yet, despite how others may perceive or react to the life of the Christian, the Christian is to be focused on living in a way that produces peace with others and that will not stir up trouble and strife. Instead, the Christian’s life is a life of submission (to the ways of God and to other authorities) that seeks to glorify God through service.
The Beauty Of A Quiet Lifestyle
A “quiet” lifestyle is not the quality that will attract the most physical attention from others (although, the Christian’s life will “stick out” from the world spiritually and morally – Matthew 5:13-16). As a result, many will perceive the Christian’s life as being dull. However, the Bible actually presents a quiet lifestyle as a beautiful thing.
First, recognize that this is exactly what God wants from His people. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” So, the Christian must be fervently praying for the governing authorities that they would make decisions that would permit Christians to live in this quiet way. For, if the governing authorities would make decisions and laws that attempt to force Christians to violate the will of God, Christians must refuse to submit to the laws created by man in order to submit to the laws of God (Acts 5:29). Are you praying for those in authority to make decisions that will enable you to live a quiet and peaceable life?
Second, whenever Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, he said, “that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12). Again, God wants His people to live as peaceful and quiet as they can – not living to cause trouble or to be involved in everyone else’s business. Now, please understand that although God wants His people to lead quiet lives and mind their own business, He also wants His people to be preaching and correcting those who live in opposition to God’s will (see 2 Timothy 2:24-26; James 5:19-20).
Third, God praises Christian women who live quiet lives. Look at 1 Peter 3:1-4: “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward — arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel — rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” God draws attention (in this passage) to the beauty of the gentle and quiet woman. In fact, He says that such an inwardly beautiful woman has the great opportunity to influence others (i.e. her husband) to follow Him, thereby glorifying God even without a word. In contrast with this Christian woman whose submission, gentleness, and quietness is very precious in the sight of the Lord, Proverbs 7:11 pictures a crafty harlot as: “She was loud and rebellious, Her feet would not stay at home.”
The Wisdom Of Quietness
Now, not only should you realize that God desires for His people to be living quiet, peaceable, and gentle lives; but, that there is great wisdom in quietness. Consider each one of the following four verses that provide God-given wisdom on the subject.
(1) Proverbs 17:1: “Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife.”
This contrast should help you appreciate that quietness is much more valuable than living a life that is full of strife (that results from speaking things you ought not say)!
(2) Ecclesiastes 4:6: “Better a handful with quietness Than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind.”
The same basic point is made in both of these first two passages. It is better to have only a little amount and a life of quietness and peace than it is to have great worldly possessions that come with strife and discontentment.
(3) Proverbs 10:19: “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise.”
Be careful what (and how much) you say! This is the basic wisdom given in this passage. We can learn (from James 3:1-12) that the tongue holds great power for both good and evil. Therefore, God’s people must use great wisdom in speaking. There is wisdom that is often found in simply saying nothing – rather than continuing to speak beyond what a situation calls for.
(4) James 1:19-20: “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
God’s people to need to be eager to hear – and not just eager to speak. Proverbs 15:28 says, “The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, But the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.” God’s people should (given the power of the tongue) make sure that they are seriously considering how they ought to verbally respond to situations rather than just “shooting from the hip” with their words! God does not require speedy verbal responses from His people; but He does require accurate ones. That will require wisdom and quietness!
Are you living a life of quietness – as much as it depends on you? Are you following God’s wisdom for quietness? Challenge yourself to find beauty and wisdom in quietness today!