Tag Archives: qualities of a pious person

What Does Piety Look Like #2

Standard

Years ago I found this description of what piety looks like in a book called The Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith.  Hannah was raised as a Quaker and was later influenced by the Holiness movement (John Wesley, founder of the Methodists). I don’t know all there is to know about Hannah’s theological beliefs, so I can’t recommend all of her writings, but I find her comments below helpful in defining what it means to be authentically pious.

“When a consecrated believer follows the Lord faithfully several evidences appear sooner or later.  Meekness and quietness of spirit become, in time, the characteristics of daily life.  Other outward signs are:

  1. Grateful acceptance of the will of God as it comes in the hourly events of each day

  2. Pliability in the hands of God to do or bear whatever He assigns

  3. A sweet disposition, even under provocation

  4. Calmness in the midst of turmoil and confusion

  5. Willingness to let others have their way

  6. Refusal to notice slights and affronts

  7. Absence of worry, anxiety and fear

The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life - Hannah Whitall Smith by [Smith, Hannah Whitall]

Sometimes I read through these qualities as a way to examine my conscience, in other words to measure my own progress in piety. Knowing our weaknesses is the starting point for change.  I admit to having trouble with all of these, but find #3 and #7 particularly difficult.  You may fall short in different areas. I notice that although these attributes are manifested outwardly, they all spring from an inner desire to trust and obey God, and they’re not easy to fake.  It’s not about following the rules, it’s about following Jesus.

Do you find Hannah’s list thought provoking? How might you use it?  Let the Lutheran Ladies know what you think.

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