very precious in the sight of God...
Tonight at ladies' Bible study we started our study of the book of Esther. It's one of those books of the Bible that reads like a novel, the story of someone's life, without necessarily blatenly laying out spiritual disciplines. For that reason, it's kind of cool in a way, because there's so many different things you can take from it. Tonight, from the first chapter, we talked a little about how we are called to respond to authority, and how that applies to us as women (among lots of other things). At the end, we talked about 1 Peter 3:3-4 which talks about not letting your beauty be merely about what's on the outside, "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." What powerful scripture! A gentle and quiet spirit produces beauty that CAN'T be destroyed, that won't tarnish or fade or go away. And this is the beauty that is very precious in the sight of God. But being gentle and quiet doesn't mean silent. It doesn't mean you don't speak your heart. It's all about the approach. As I taught my kids all last week about Dr. Martin Luther King, a quote of his kept coming up that talked about how hate cannot combat hate, only love can. In the same way, when responding to anything, our response is more effective if done in love and gentleness than in rage.
There was a lot more we talked about tonight, such as how Queen Vashti (assuming her motives were right) refused to compromise on something she knew was wrong. You don't give up your integrity on a whim. You stand firm and do what you know is right, even when that choice may cost you a lot, even when the other option may be easier. You can't value the opinions of others more than integrity. You shouldn't pursue status at the cost of right living.
Those are my thoughts for now. Pursue a gentle and quiet spirit. God sees that as beautiful and precious.