Spiritual StrugglesWhen you struggle spiritually, how do you react?
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Clothe yourselves . . . with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God (v.4).
Some 30,000 people recently were informed that they weren’t as attractive as they thought. This image-shattering news came courtesy of the staff of a cyber dating service for “beautiful men and women.” The staff dropped the gasping group (and their glamour shots) from its ranks because they simply didn’t make the cut. A spokesman for the site said, “We can’t just sweep 30,000 ugly people under the carpet.” Oooh, not nice.
I’m glad that God doesn’t view us with the fickle, subjective gaze of a human being. He sees true beauty in the character—the essence—of those who color their world with His glory. The apostle Paul wrote to Christian wives, “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God” (1 Peter 3:3, italics added for emphasis).
Was Paul ‘thumbs down’ on all jewelry and hairdos? No, he was making a point: Beauty from the inside is what God desires. The very ‘fabric’ of our lives should reflect purity, reverence and holiness (vv.2-5). As we clothe ourselves with these things, we’re doing “what God has called [us] to do” (v.9; compare Galatians 3:27).
Now, you might be thinking, Well, my personality is stronger than “gentle” and more loud than “quiet.” God understands; He gave you your personality. As you seek to become more and more like Jesus, He will mould you into the beautiful person He created you to be.
The people who were removed from the dating site—and all of us—need to remember these words: “Beauty does not last; but a [person] who fears the Lord will be greatly praised” (Proverbs 31:30). Let’s pursue true beauty—God and His glory radiating from within us.
Read 1 Timothy 2:9 and note Paul’s instructions for how to make yourself truly attractive.
How can you become more beautiful in God’s eyes? Why is inner beauty so much more important to God than subjective physical beauty?
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