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How to See the Value of Quiet Time

  • Carrie Dedrick
    What topic related to Christianity, faith, and the Bible is trending online and in social media today?
  • 2017 Mar 10
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Maybe I’m the last person who should be writing about quiet. Unlike most writers I know, I’m extroverted, loud, and enjoy being in the center of the action. My voice carries, even when I don’t want it to. People who love me often shush me. Sometimes (okay, oftentimes) I speak before I think. I believe God created me this way and He loves me as I am. 

And yet, the Bible reiterates the value of quiet. 

So how does a loud extrovert like me reconcile with verses like “Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:6) and “The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered” (Proverbs 17:27)?

Heidi Jo Fulk writes for Revive Our Hearts that she, too, wrestles with this question.

But digging into the Bible, she found that there is a purpose to our quiet - strength from God. 

“For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength’” (Isaiah 30:15).

Fulk writes, “This kind of quiet shows me I need to stop striving to act or figure things out on my own and instead quiet myself. To quiet the me-thinking and me-acting and come to an all-knowing, all-powerful God and allow Him to strengthen my heart and mind to think and act like Him.” 

When we quiet our own mouths, we allow God to speak. And for once, we can hear him. 

“Quiet’s perspective is not my perspective, it’s God’s. When we are quiet and have a gentle spirit, we’re squelching our tendency toward ‘me’ and ‘I’ and instead allowing the Holy Spirit to control our minds, hearts, and actions,” says Fulk. 

If you are like me, you might have a difficult time learning to be quiet and let God take control of your life. It might be your natural inclination to want to plan your own over-busy schedule, allowing no extra time to sit quietly in the presence of God. 

But you must remember why the Lord tells us that there is a time to be silent (Ecclesiastes 3:7). God wants to grant us His strength, if only we will take the time to be quiet, placing our hope and trust in Him. 

Fulk says we can pursue quiet by taking three steps. 

1. Pray.

If you struggle to quiet your wagging tongue and racing heart, come to God in prayer. For Scripture tells us, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1 John 5:14

“You can ask God to give you a quiet spirit—to show you what that looks like in all sorts of situations. Ask God to quiet your anxious heart. Ask God to still your racing mind. Ask Him to control your tongue,” Fulk writes.

2. Read the Bible, and apply what you read.

As you plan your day, carve out time in the Word, even if you only have a few extra minutes. 

Fulk says, “It’s the best way to replace the noise that comes from my own efforts and striving with the truth and confidence of the Lord.”

3. Know where your “pause” and “stop” buttons are.

Understand that life gets noisy. But God can guide you through those moments if you just know how to pause.

As Fulk writes, “Worry comes creeping into your mind. A situation starts to spiral out of control, and you want to react. Hit pause. Push stop. There is a way out! Ask God to ‘take every thought captive to obey Christ’ (2 Cor. 10:5). Even if it has to be moment by moment sometimes, He is able to quiet your mind, heart, and mouth if you are willing to pursue and obey Him.”

Learning to be quiet will take discipline, especially for people like me. Crosswalk.com contributing writer Ron Edmondson suggests this approach: 

“Commit to doing something consistently for at least 30 days. Every day… without exception… do it… whether you ‘feel’ like it or not… Again, it will require sacrifice. Habits and lifestyles form this way and you’ll need this discipline, because as soon as you attempt this dozens of obstacles will stand in your way.”

“Forming this time [to be quiet] into your daily schedule will not be easy. Nothing of value is ever easy.”

“The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.” (Isaiah 32:17

 

Carrie Dedrick is an editor of Crosswalk.com. When she is not writing or editing, she can usually be found teaching dance classes, running marathons, or reading with at least one adopted dog on her lap. 

Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com

Publication date: March 10, 2017