Like my friend, Camilla, often says "If you ask God to show you what you need, He will answer." I recently finished reading and studying through one of John MacArthur's books "The Gospel According to Jesus." It was great, but I'm not going to get started on that as it would be a blog post in itself (maybe another day). For the past week or two since finishing that study, I haven't really known what direction to go in, but I've been searching.
After some recent discipline issues with the children and me not really liking my handling of the situations, I remembered a book I've read a couple of times before and thought it would be a good time to go through it again. It's called "Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit" by Teri Maxwell. I read the first chapter yesterday morning and have decided that this time I will do the assignments at the end of each chapter. Later in the morning, I checked my e-mail and found that Nancy Leigh DeMoss is doing a study on meekness right now. I printed out the transcript and began reading through it this morning also. Then I received an article from a homeschool organization on the same thing. Okay, Lord, I get it. You've made it plain and clear what I need to be studying and working on right now.
One of my assignments from yesterday was to start finding Bible verses on meekness. Nancy made this easier for me as she had a printable list on her site. So I started reading through those this morning, writing them down in my journal and adding my thoughts as well.
Another assignment was to write out a prayer to my Lord asking Him to help me in this area. I enjoy doing this as it really helps me get my thoughts together on what I want to ask.
The last assignment was to write down a record of every time I am not exhibiting a meek and quiet spirit. I did that this morning also as I looked back on yesterday.
Then I thought about times in the past few months when I said things to others that I shouldn't have. Have you ever had someone say something offensive to you and your heart is burning within you, and you feel like you have to say what is about to come out or you're going to explode? I've had that feeling, and I've gone ahead and spoken when I should have been silent. I always, almost immediately, know that I shouldn't have said what I did.
Nancy is using a Matthew Henry book for some of this study material and here are a couple of great quotes she shared in regards to what I just mentioned:
We have often been the worse for our speaking, but seldom the worse for our silence.
There is nothing said or done in passion but it may be better said and better done afterwards.
She shared a letter from long ago that exhibits a meek spirit:
George Whitefield, an 18th century British revivalist, received a vicious letter accusing him of wrongdoing. He responded with the following -
I thank you heartily for your letter. As for what you and my other enemies are saying against me, I know worse things about myself than you will ever say about me.
With love in Christ,
Oh to exhibit that kind of meekness. I have a feeling that as I am studying this topic that God might just give me some opportunities to choose meekness. I hope I'll be able to. Only with the help of Jesus my Savior will I be able to. After all, he was the ultimate example of meekness -
Isaiah 53:7 - He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
On the path to simplicity, a meek and quiet spirit definitely sounds like something I should take along.
Galatians 5:22-25 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.