Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
How often have we worn new clothing or sparkling new jewelry or peep-toe heels and felt just a little bit beautiful? Have you ever stopped in front of a mirror and posed for a moment? Do you enjoy the beautiful feeling of having your hair or nails freshly done and gleaming? Of course you do. This is normal and natural and one of the many small pleasures we are granted in life. It is not sinful or arrogant to enjoy a bit of beauty for ourselves =now and them. Many of us dress up for church, bringing out our proverbial ‘Sunday best.’ We want to look as nice as we can to be in the house of the Lord and in the company of other Christian family and friends.
But the braided hair or gold necklace is only adorning the outside of our body. We can put it on and take it off. It can be purchased at virtually any store. It can be given as a gift, traded, stored, and passed on. We can even choose to donate it to the needy or throw it away when it no longer serves our purposes. Our Sunday best is not the best that we, as Christians, can be inside, It is not the beauty or permanence of a gentle and beautiful spirit that dwells within our hearts. It may not be the beauty that catches one’s attention at first glance, but it most certainly is the beauty that will catch the attention of Jesus. So, the next time you but on a church suit and shine your shoes, it might be well to stop and think about inner beauty as well.
The beauty of a gentle spirit, a giving heart, a clear conscience and a loving soul is the truest of all beauty. And it will be seen, both by God and by other people. It is hard to hide the look of joy and peace, the smile of gratitude and the eyes of perceptive empathy.
Just as surely as Peter encouraged a full commitment to God’s will, we are urged to do likewise. We are taught to follow the ways of the Lord and emulate the goodness, mercy and grace f our savior, Christ Jesus. Help us ever be mindful that our true beauty resides within our hearts and souls, not within out closets and jewelry boxes. As we dress for church, we might remember to polish our humility and brush out our forgiveness as we select our outer adornment.
References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock, The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur and Concise Bible Commentary, David S. Dockery, General Editor.
Columbia Prayer Chain: Tuesday, January 29
In our prayers: Claudia Strattman, Jennifer Williams, Betty Jo Carson, Gary Davis, Eddie Bolton, Myrna, Esther, Pam James, Doug and Sharon, John Kelchner, Elizabeth Matthews, Nedrick Griffin, Jennifer Handy, Nancy Stuckey, Annemarie Sullivan, Rachel and Randy Wurtzbaugh, Patty Peckham, Denise Byrd, Greg and Lisa Steele, Dean Timothy Jones, Linda Langford, Marty Fritz, Harriet Hancock, Tommy and Robby Palmer, Patty and Ted Mac Laughlin, Janet Long, Bobby Wilson, Debbie and Pat Barry, Betty Jo Sullivan, Patrick and Patricia Barry, Jordan Hill, Doris Clevenger, Charles Sigel, Bob Davis, John Whatley, Nancy Zuckerman, Charles Davis Sr., Bill Carter, Betty Peavy Frick, Joye Cantrell, Fred and Gail, Dale and Norma Sessions, Padge Arrington, Jerry Callahan, Norman Masters
Special prayers for Mary Ellen’s four-year-old grandson, Joseph Patrick, who is fighting cancer
In memoriam: Sara Payne Harper, Wendell H. “Wendy” Hazelwood, Odessa Jones, Truman Michael Raley, Furman Samuel Ulmer, Jerry Frederick Johnson, Ida Harmon, Louise Canty Farrow, James Randy Brady, Masako “Bonnie” Kawamoto McPhail
Our prayers are with: the elderly, the homeless, all currently fighting illness, all beloved pets, our president and congress, our police officers and firefighters, all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box below or email me to join our Prayer Chain. It is updated daily.