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”
Our society tends to admire the so-called “beautiful people”; that is those popular movie entertainers and models whose youthful faces dominate the pages of magazines and television screens. However, such attractiveness has nothing to do with the kind of beauty or character that delights the heart of God our Creator. If you think about it for awhile, we usually tend to think of beauty in terms of something lovely that evokes a feeling of pleasure within us. God wants each of us to place more value on what’s in a person’s heart than we do on the superficial things. Nowhere in Scripture are we told to value people on the basis of how they look or dress. We shouldn’t measure a person’s worth by whether they are good-looking, have beautiful hair, trim bodies, or dress in the finest clothes. Please, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not advocating greasy hair, flabby frames, or drab dress; nor am I saying that beauty is a vice.
However, we are so prone to judge people by the way they look, the clothes they wear and isn’t it so easy to show partiality to someone who looks sharp and wears the latest fashions. Rather than making it our goal to see as God sees, we tend to respond to the physical, skin-level qualities of a person. Regardless of our outward appearance we can be beautiful people to God. By God’s transforming grace, we can have the beauty of holiness and integrity that mirrors the character of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. As we devote ourselves unconditionally to the fulfillment of the Lord’s purposes in our lives, we will develop the kind of God-honoring character (or beauty) that doesn’t fade away.
A.W. Tozer described character as “the excellence of moral beings.” As the excellence of gold is its purity and the excellence of art is its beauty, so the excellence of man is his character. We all know that for a healthy life that is pleasing to God, “character” is most very important. Character isn’t just an abstract concept to talk about. It is much deeper than that. It is who we are when no one is looking (and when everyone is looking). Character is defined as strength of moral fiber, and is the sum of his/her disposition, thoughts, intentions, desires, and actions.
Bible teacher Robert J. Little wrote about two jars whose contents looked the same but were actually quite different. When the first jar was turned on its side, vinegar ran out. Then the other jar was tipped over and honey came out of it. The two jars appeared to be similar, but when they were upset their true contents were revealed. An excellent test of character is the way a person reacts under the pressure of a difficult situation. Under normal conditions, most people behave in a socially acceptable manner. They give the impression that everything is under control.
However, when they are caught off guard or are unexpectedly upset they reveal their true disposition. My friend, what is deep down inside of us will spill out when we are tested. Our reactions to pressure can reveal what we are. In Luke 6:45 Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” So, my question would be:
(1) What comes out of your heart, honey or vinegar?
(2) When someone does something you don’t like, how do you react?
My brethren, by maintaining fellowship with God and relying on His Holy Spirit’s guidance, what spills out of you will be pure and good. Some examples of individuals with noble character and distinguished by persistent moral virtue found within God’s precious Word are: (1) Ruth – (Ruth 3:11), (2) Hananiah – (Nehemiah 7:2); (3) David- (Psalm 78:72), and (4) Job – (Job 2:3). We can also develop Godly character by controlling our thoughts, practicing Christian virtues, guarding our hearts, keeping good company, and setting a good example for others to follow, thus our godly reputation will be evident to all.
Remember your true character is revealed in the unguarded moment.