Matthew Henry was a Bible commentator and Presbyterian minister who lived 1662-1714. He had some directives from Scripture that would enable us to live a meek and quiet life. The following are the first few rules of direction toward living a meek and quiet life. Each point is summarized, and they are only partly in his own words:
- Sit loose to the world and everything in it. Whatever you have of the world in your hands, be it more or less, as you value the peace as well as the purity of your souls, keep it out of your hearts. And those who serve their own bellies, those who are "delicate and tender" from being spoiled, lie themselves open to great disappointment. There is a great lesson in "denying ourselves" and "taking up our cross." We must mortify the desire of the applause of men as altogether impertinent to our true happiness. We should not value ourselves at their good word, or have their words disturb us if they have an ill word. Paul did not build upon the opinion of men, and reckoned it a small thing to be judged by man's judgment.
- Be often repenting of your sinful passion, and renewing your covenants against it. Repentance, if it is sound and deep, disposes the soul to bear injuries with abundance of patience. Those who live a life of repentance will live a life of peace. Godly sorrow for our former transgressions will work a carefulness in us to not transgress again.
- Keep out of the way of provocation and stand your guard against it. Don't be provoked to anger when you hear words that were intended to offend. Don't allow the anger you have seep into your heart. We must also be careful not to offend others, nor resent the offenses of others. Whenever an offense comes your way, be on watch and try to be more circumspect. Have diligence to keep your mouth bridled. The more practice you have doing this, the less you will be provoked to anger.