Have you ever wondered what is of value to God?
Think about it … God, the Creator of the majesty of Niagara Falls … the Architect of the glory of the Rocky Mountains … and the Gardener of the lush, rich growth that surrounds the Nile River … what does He consider priceless?
The God who sculpted the sparkling facets of diamonds … who sprinkled the spots on a leopard … and who placed the giggle in the belly of a baby … what does He consider costly above all else?
“But let it be the hidden nature of the heart, that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Pet. 3:4).
I want to value what God values, don’t you? I want to count as precious, or costly, the exact same commodities that the Creator of the universe considers as a treasured or cherished commodity.
The Holy Spirit states that what God values is a gentle and quiet spirit. I am silenced when I read those words. I am left speechless in the face of the strong opinions and assertive nature that my culture considers valuable and therefore laudable.
I must pick up my 21st-century, Western jaw off the ground of opinion and stubborn entitlement, and simply meditate on that which is of great value to God.
” … the hidden nature of the heart, that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”
The word “precious” that the Holy Spirit specifically selected means “requiring very great outlay, very costly, excellent, of surpassing value.”
As a woman in ministry, choosing to adorn oneself in a gentle and quiet spirit might cost me something. It might cost me the right to state my mind, it might require me to die to self, and it might even demand of me an outlay of humility and of unselfish behavior.
The Holy Spirit has chosen to use a lovely word to describe the character and nature that God values in a woman’s life. The Greek word for “gentle” is the word praus.
Praus is the opposite of self-assertiveness or self-interest. It implies laying down heart attitudes that display stubbornness or argumentative behavior.
Can you say, “Ouch!”? I say “Ouch!” to be praus nearly every day of my life!
The Holy Spirit gently draws me back from the pain that the word praus has inflicted with this telling question, “Carol, do you want to value what God values? Is it your heart’s desire to treasure what God treasures?”
And I humbly respond, “Yes, Lord, I do value what is of high treasure in your Kingdom. Yes, Lord, I do.”
God values a spirit of gentleness and a heart attitude of quietness rather than blustering opinion and self-promoting cockiness. A gentle person is rarely occupied with self-interest but is consumed with the joy of trusting God’s goodness in every situation in life.
A gentle woman places her trust in an all-knowing, all-loving and all-powerful God.
As women in ministry, we serve in a kingdom whose value system is strikingly different than the world in which we live. If the desire of your heart is to value what the King values, you will embrace a quiet and gentle spirit which is precious in the sight of God.
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman’s Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, will be released on Aug. 1. Her teaching DVD The Rooms of a Woman’s Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming.