Confession. My body tenses a little bit when I hear another believer refer to his or her quiet time. I recognize this in myself as a defensive and judgmental response. I’m not proud of it and I have been working to understand why the idea of “quiet time” affects me so. I mean, we should all be striving to spend quiet time with our Lord, right?
Did you know Wikipedia has a definition for quiet time? It reads Quiet Time is a term used to describe regular individual sessions of Christian spiritual activities, such as prayer, private meditation, worship of God or study of the Bible. The term “Quiet Time” is used by 20th-century Protestants, mostly evangelical Christians.
So, it’s all good, right? Nothing there to worry about. It’s a less formal way of describing spiritual disciplines. Disciplines which I regularly participate in to grow closer to Jesus. So what makes me shut down conversations when the discussion leads to quiet time?
Two reasons. First, I detest legalism. Detest. As in, dislike intensely. And somehow, somewhere in my twisted little mind, I rebel against the notion that I am a good Christian if I simply put in the time. There’s so much more to it than that. And I don’t want to tempt myself or encourage anyone else to believe that quiet time is something we should all just get done. Check the box.
Secondly, and probably more importantly, I don’t talk much about the time I spend with Jesus. It’s too emotional. Too personal. It means too much to me. I get nervous when people share about their time because maybe they will expect me to share mine. And in most situations, I just can’t.
God has worked so mightily in my heart and in my mind. He’s touched me and healed me. He’s freed me and called me. Everything I preach or teach about flows from my experiences with Jesus. Often times those experiences happen in quiet reflection and praise. Sometimes I am just wrecked over what He’s revealed to me and it takes me awhile to digest it. And it seems wrong to discuss it in casual conversation.
I’ve been working on a sermon that will focus on keeping rules vs. accepting grace. I’m using Galatians 2 where Paul says, I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Wow, I love those words. He goes on to say, If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily. Powerful truth.
I don’t want to do quiet time so I can tell someone I did it. I don’t want to do quiet time so I can tell myself I’m a good Christian. I want to do quiet time because I recognize it is essential for living the life I want to live… the life He calls me to live. Peace!