Facing My Fears – Chiamaka OhaneleSan Francisco Bay ICC

Since I became a disciple in 2013- more precisely a woman of God, I have been constantly afraid of these next 4 words: “gentle and quiet spirit.” Coming from the world, all I heard was doormat and silent spirit. I didn’t understand why all the brothers were strongly suggesting I read the book on it. I always knew that I had a strong personality and in my arrogance I believed I didn’t need to change.

In fact, to my shame I would reluctantly read over 1 Peter 3:4 which says, “rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” But I was always left with one question, “why does God find these qualities worth mentioning”?

It wasn’t until after the GLC this year that I started to realize I had to face my fears and study this out. I had to start understanding topics and taking my convictions higher and base them on scriptures. So, hesitantly I opened up Biblegateway.com and dove into the study of acquiring a gentle and quiet spirit. First came defining the two qualities. According to the bible, gentleness is not about being a doormat, as I’d previously thought. In fact, it is a character trait that Jesus our Lord and Savior possessed. I was blown away! The actual biblical definition is an expression of compassion, seen in God’s dealings with the frail and weak, and expected of believers in their dealings with others.

As I looked at Scriptures like Isaiah 40:1-2, which says God will “speak tenderly” and Romans 2:4 referring to the richness of God’s kindness, I began to shrink and feel ashamed. For a whole year I had been prideful and had deceived myself into believing I was above this calling.

And that was only the tip of the iceberg. Then I turned my sights towards learning about quietness. I looked up the definition of quietness and I found that Jesus also contained this character trait. I mean Jesus slept through a storm, while the disciples were worried, scared, and at a loss for words! Personally the most compelling part was the biblical definition for quietness. The definition is a calm, peaceful, and restrained attitude toward life, and a way of approaching God that is frequently commended in Scripture, even in adverse circumstances. It is also a condition experienced by God’s friends and enemies when confronted by his majesty.

I sat in awe of my newly acquired knowledge. All this time I had been the “brute beast” instead of gentle, bulldozing other disciples with my opinions, my thoughts, and my feelings. I had been the opposite of quiet. Frequently, you could find me running around trying to solve problems, and trying to meet different needs looking like a chicken with its head cut off.

But looking at all the knowledge I had acquired, I had a choice to make. I could continue to see these scriptures through the lens of the world. I could continue to be tainted by this poison or I could renew my mind as Paul calls us to do throughout the book of Romans.

I chose to renew my mind and my actions began to follow suit. I began to believe that although I was an extrovert, I could deal with people gently and be quiet through the storms of my life and my discipleship. As a disciple, and more importantly as a woman of God I wanted, no I needed to gain a deep conviction about living with these godly characteristics every single day. Thankfully I had so many examples in the scriptures and in my life who exemplified these godly traits. I was able to build on my foundation through lessons from Sarah Dimitry, Patrique Smellie and Lianne Kernan. I began to see my heart change. I began to see what it was like for brothers to deal with sisters who were not quiet and gentle, though this inward transformation wasn’t for men, it was for God. I began to see the fruits of my labor in my relationships. I wanted to be worthy in Gods eyes and that was why I embarked on this journey in the first place.
After watching, imitating, and applying the lessons and scriptures I came up with some practicals for extroverted sisters and sisters that don’t completely understand these concepts.

  • Think before you speak; if what you are about to say is not building this person up, rephrase or don’t say it.
  • When you are going through a storm either at work, life, or school, take a deep breath and pray to God for calm, cast these anxieties on the Lord girl
  • Think like Jesus did and use your spiritual eyes when dealing with the world and other disciples, and do not get caught up in your emotions

I hope that these practicals will help any sisters going through the same things I went through. Just so you know this is an area I was once afraid to attack and give my whole heart to understanding, but now I can say that I will continue to repent for my Father in heaven. And in closing, if you have studied something out and it changed you, please share it so we can continue to be our sister’s keeper.

I love you. I love God. I love His movement.