1 Peter 3:3-4, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, 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”
Today’s society puts a lot of emphasis on beauty. It would also be fitting to say that our society idolizes the so-called “beautiful people” that is popular entertainers and models, both men and women, whose youthful faces dominate the screen of television and adorn the pages of fashion magazines. However, such attractiveness has nothing to do with the kind of beauty that delights the heart of our Creator. We tend to think of beauty in terms of something lovely that evokes a feeling of pleasure within us. However, God wants us to place more value on what’s in a person’s heart than we do on outward beauty and superficial things (1 Peter 3:3-4). God’s Word says something interesting to women, “Let not your adornment be merely external, but let it be the hidden person of the heart.” Thus, His Word is reminding every woman that outward beauty is temporal, but inner beauty from godly character and spirit is imperishable. Think about older ladies whose countenance becomes more beautiful with their age. As William Dyrness explains, something is lovely by God’s standards “if it displays the integrity that characterizes creation and that in turn reflects God’s own righteousness.” Simply put, a truly beautiful person is one who serves God’s purposes. Then regardless of our outward appearance all of us can be beautiful. By God’s transforming grace, we can have the beauty of holiness and integrity that mirrors the character of His Son. As we devote ourselves wholeheartedly to the fulfillment of the Lord’s purposes in our lives, we will develop the kind of God-honoring beauty that does not fade (Proverbs 31:30). That’s the only way to become one of the truly beautiful people.
The tabernacle in the wilderness was a tent where the glory of God dwelt. The structure was made of badger skins and was plain on the outside. But inside it was exquisitely beautiful (Exodus 25:27). We can compare the tabernacle with Jesus human form. John said, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). The word dwelt means He pitched His tent with us, the same word that ancient Greek versions of the Old Testament used for the tabernacle. Jesus looked like an ordinary man: He had no beauty that we should desire Him (Isaiah 53:2). No one gave Him a second look. Yet, John beheld His glory, the glory of God Himself. Occasionally, the tent flap was lifted and he caught a glimpse of Jesus inner beauty and majesty. We are tabernacles too, made of skin, made to contain God’s Spirit. Most of us are very plain, not like the made-up actors we see in the movies or the airbrushed models we view in the ads and on television. But God is even now, at this moment, in the process of making us radiantly beautiful within. We may be very plain and ordinary on the outside, but as we allow God’s Spirit to work within us, the beauty of God’s indwelling presence will shine from our faces.
A Quaker woman’s recipe for beauty was this: “Use for the lips, truth; for the voice, prayer; for the eyes, pity; for the hands, charity; for the figure, uprightness, and for the heart, love.”
(1) Does the world see Jesus in you?
(2) Do you possess this inner beauty that delights the heart of God?