Thursday, June 11, 2009

What is quietness of spirit opposed to?

In The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Jeremiah Burroughs indicates that one of the hallmarks of Christian contentment is 'quietness of spirit'. This is apparent if we consider his definition of Christian contentment: Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.

To help clarify, Burroughs shares what proper quietness of spirit is opposed to:

But what, then, it will be asked, is this quietness of spirit opposed to?
  1. It is opposed to murmuring and repining at the hand of God, as the discontented Israelites often did.
  2. It is opposed to vexing and fretting, which is a degree beyond murmuring.
  3. It is opposed to tumultuousness of spirit, when the thoughts run distractingly and work in a confused manner, so that the affections are like the unruly multitude in the Acts, who did know for what purpose they had come together.
  4. It is opposed to an unsettled and unstable spirit, whereby the heart is distracted from the present duty that God requires in our several relationships, towards God, ourselves and others.
  5. It is opposed to distracting, heart-consuming cares.
  6. It is opposed to sinking discouragements.
  7. It is opposed to sinful shiftings and shirkings to get relief and help.
  8. It is opposed to desperate risings of the heart against God by way of rebellion.


  1. I really like point #7, if I understand it correctly. So often we avoid the challenging call of Christ in order to be more 'comfortable', but the comfort of the world simply leads to a greater discomfort of spirit.

  2. I think you are right...I think we confuse being comfortable with being content.