Sometimes I am overwhelmed with sadness at the years I wasted trying to be something I’m not. You see, I attended church for years before I actually accepted Christ’s gift of salvation and invited Him into my heart. For years before and even for a couple of years after I made that choice, I struggled. The Bible is clear that a woman is to have a quiet and gentle spirit. What saddens me is that I believed the lie that this meant I had to tone down my personality.
I was told over and over in a variety of ways that this admonition meant that I should dress in muted colors, speak only in a soft voice, never do anything that might draw attention to myself, and generally fade quietly into the background. Well, if you’ve ever met me, you know that’s pretty much the opposite of my innate personality. A dear friend recently remarked that I have a strong personality. She’s right. I’m a little over the top. It wasn’t a criticism; we were talking about being your authentic self.
My authentic self is friendly and outgoing. My authentic self is drawn to bright colors. I’m a natural leader, so it’s not unusual for me to be the focus of some attention. I have a loud, distinctive laugh, and my voice carries. As a matter of fact, The Furry Guy says that sometimes he can pick out my voice in the recordings of our worship services. (No, I’m not part of the worship team, so he’s hearing me above the crowd without the aid of amplification.) You know what? There’s nothing wrong with any of that.
The admonition to be of a quiet and gentle spirit is about your heart, not your personality. It’s about not being proud, arrogant, demanding, and pig-headed. It’s about being willing to work behind the scenes without recognition if that’s where God has you right at this moment. It’s about being open to critique and instruction. It’s about being humble and allowing God to work through you.
Yes, I have a big personality, but I also believe I have a quiet and gentle spirit. I’m not perfect by any means. I have a lot to learn, but that’s okay. God isn’t finished with me yet.