True Beauty (1Peter 2:3-6)

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (1 Peter 3:3–4, ESV)

Has outward beauty become a crippling idol in society? There is much evidence that people who are considered good looking do, over the course of their lives, experience advantages over others. Thus, there is a multi-billion-dollar industry focused on making people look a certain way. This industry ranges from cosmetics, to cosmetic surgery. It encompasses the fashion industry. The weight and fitness industries also are involved. The media has a lot to do with setting beauty trends in societies.

While it is good to take care of one’s self and physical conditioning is definitely beneficial, there is a more important aspect of beauty that we must consider. Yes, it is important to wear the appropriate attire at work and to maintain proper grooming habits. It is totally improper to go into public having the odor of a decaying heap of rotting garbage. However, the world system that emphasizes physical beauty avoids the most important aspect of it, an inward beauty.

Here, Peter speaks of a type of beauty that God sees as precious and we should also. It is a beauty born in the heart of a person. The Scripture states that this type of beauty is not corruptible. What manifestation of this inner beauty do we see? It is that of a gentle and quiet spirit. The word here translated “gentle,” is praus, referring to being mild or humble (Strong G4239). It is not referring to weakness, but the quality of humility that God desires in all believers. “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6, AV).

Moreover, Peter also indicated that this inward beauty was of a “quiet spirit.” Here, “quiet,” hesuchios, carries with it the ideal of being peaceable (Strong G2272). This does not mean that a person who has internal beauty will always remain mute. It does mean that their manner of life will display a peaceful and calm demeanor. They will not be the instigator of strife. Their words will be seasoned with salt. They will bring blessing rather than insult.

I have seen many people with outward beauty who are inwardly ugly. They are the proud and arrogant. Some, while being outwardly pleasing to the eye, speak the words of vipers inflicting poison into groups of people and striking terror in others. I have seen wives who have verbally badgered, disrespecting their husbands to the detriment of their homes. This should never be the case.

God, who knows all, looks at and values inward beauty. Peter stated that this is “very precious” to God. How may one have this beauty? It is only consistently possible by one who lives by the Spirit. “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, AV).

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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