Knowing Your Place (ATP)
The Bible says for a woman to be a quiet and gentle spirit. This is what God wants to see in women but what about when there are things that someone just shouldn’t tolerate.
1 Peter 3:3-4 (NKJV)
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.
The Bible gives us many directions on how one should live their lives. Too many times people look at the specific directions, to men, to women, to pastors, to sheep and fail to recognize the heart of God on the matter. The reason I bring this up is because we have to understand there are several different points of view we can look at and we have to understand that there is purpose in why certain writings were chosen for scripture and others weren’t.
First we must know that, especially in the epistles (the letters to the churches), they were written to address specific things going on in the lives of actual people. It would be the equivalent of me as a pastor sending a text message or email to somebody about something going on in their personal life and helping to address that situation. Afterward, God inspired people to save those emails in a collection, to help others by their principle. Many times while counseling someone, the anointing has come on me to help them and what I’ve said I know is from God. This is especially because I could have never come up with something that good on my own. God still speaks today!
I say all that to say this, sometimes people have used the apostles’ conversations to wrongly put rules on people or to control certain groups. Think about how in the name of religion, people have suppressed women over the years. That’s not to say that certain scripture is not intended for the group it talks to to heed, but we must understand the whole of scripture is written to counsel the whole of people.
I know that’s a long introduction, but I felt I needed to establish God’s heart on His Word before I proceeded. I would say, judging by what I know of the Word, that God desires us ALL to have a quiet and gentle spirit. However, I want to bring up another equally important one; Romans 12:18 also instructs us, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” Let me draw your attention to the words, “As much as depends on you.”
As we all have certainly discovered in life, not all that happens depends on us. Have you ever woken up in the very presence of God and filled with joy, only to go to work and have that wonderful coworker who is possessed by satan himself greet you with sorrow? You know the one, that no matter how nice and loving you have tried to be seems to be dead set on making your life as miserable as they possibly can? Of course I’m using some sarcasm there but I’m illustrating some truth, sometimes it just does not depend on us.
1 Peter 4:12 tells us, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.” Again sometimes it just does not depend on us. God didn’t say make the world right when others are wrong, He said do as much as depends on you. In other words, you focus on you being right regardless of what’s happening around you.
Sometimes people will act in ways that we have to separate from. I knew a man once who had a family whom he solely provided for. His job started doing some extremely unethical things and required him to do the same if he were to continue in his employment. He decided to do right and leave that company. God fully took care of him and his family and still does today. That company however went from being incredibly profitable to almost nonexistent and that guy I knew never turned them in. He took the high road, of peace and gentleness, leaving quietly and he was blessed for it.
Sometimes we must make decisions that are not easy. Sometimes, to maintain peace we must separate ourselves from people and situations. We must understand that we don’t have place to correct all people who are wrong. Sometimes we must just quietly and gently bow out. Even as a pastor I have to recognize that there are some people who I cannot correct, even those in my church. If someone refuses to hear from me, I have no place to speak into their life. This principle applies to all of us.
This is why being Spirit led is so important. God will not call you to reach everyone, but His spirit will show you who you can. Some things in the world will never be changed with our words, but through our prayers. Some things won’t be changed at all. We must learn and focus on hearing from God and getting His heart in every situation. That’s where God’s peace is always found.
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.