Two Kinds of Quiet

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (1 Timothy 2:1 – 2).

The second word Paul uses to describe what we should pray for is “quiet.” We need “peaceful and quiet lives.” Alas, this word has been sorely abused by English translations. For example, just a few verses later many translations announce women “must be silent,” but this is the very same word translated “quiet” in verses 2 and 11!

No, Paul isn’t commanding the women to “shut up” (see Mark 1:25 for that word), but he is agreeing with Peter who teaches that true beauty is a “gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4) – something God highly values in all of us.

You can’t make yourself be quiet any more than a gardener can make a plant grow or a sailor can call the wind. Quiet is something you cultivate or capture. For most people, it is a blessing that is just out of reach, so it will do us good to cultivate that special virtue today.

Exercise

Like many spiritual things, we see this virtue best by looking in our “rearview mirror.” Spend the first minute this morning thinking about the past. Have you been surprised by God? Think of something you were anxious about, but it turned out to be needless worry. Now spend your second minute counting God’s blessings – you might even sing “Count Your Many Blessings!” Finally, for your third minute, spend the time in prayer thanking God for the blessings to come. Our God is a gracious God!

Blessings

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