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Seek the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit

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Today’s bible study is 1 Peter 3:3-4: 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.

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 Pater 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 and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.

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