Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. ( I Peter 3:3-4, NKJV)
We all seem to know how to achieve natural, physical beauty. Makeup, cute clothes, new haircuts, and a touch of jewelry usually do the trick. We might do well in these areas, but “adorning” the “hidden person of the heart” is quite another matter. In fact, putting on some of that “incorruptible beauty” is difficult, if not impossible, without God’s help.
The reason for this is because that “incorruptible beauty” can’t be found on the outside. It’s hidden. Deep in the core of who we are is a spirit that will live forever. It can’t be seen with the natural eye or manipulated with our hands and beauty brushes. It can only be seen with the supernatural eye of God, our Father and Creator. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
No matter how we look physically on the outside, we will be “beautified” in some way or another by the true us on the inside. When we let our hair down and feel totally ourselves, what’s living on the inside will come out of us. The question is: what will come out? When under pressure to conform to the world, will a good spirit show its face? Or will a dirty spirit reveal more about us than we’d like for others to see?
And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (John 7:20-23)
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)
It’s a frustrating cause to consistently try to be something that we’re not. In God’s eyes, it’s a lost cause. No matter how hard we try, without God’s nature in us, we can never be good enough for God to see beauty inside of us. If God can’t see it on the inside, then others definitely can’t see it on the outside.
In order for a “good” nature to consistently come out, the “bad” spirit we were born with has to be replaced. That’s when Jesus called this being “born again” (John 3:5-7). When we’re born again, our old spirit nature full of sin is replaced with God’s nature. God’s nature, of course, is perfect and beautiful! It holds all the characteristics of true beauty that anyone could ever need!
(If you would like to be born again, please see the “Prayer for Salvation” tab at the top of my blog menu.)
Once God’s nature has been placed inside us, the Fruit of the Spirit finds a cozy home inside our spirits. This Godly beauty then glitters and shines in a world that can’t produce them on their own.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. (Colossians 3:12-14)
This is what a “meek and quiet spirit” really looks like! It’s beauty in its true form, a perfect example of Jesus, the author of beauty! These are attributes that will not fade away with time, but will grow stronger and stronger in our lives as we practice them. Most of all, it will reveal Jesus to the world, glorifying who He is for all to see.
As we are born again, these characteristics may live in us, but we have to make the decision to “put them on” every day, just as we do our jeans. We always have the opportunity to live according to our flesh, or live according to our spirit. It’s a choice. We can put our value on what’s inside of us, or we can put our value on what’s on the outside of us. Whatever we choose, it reveals the motive of our hearts. Our true treasures are found where our hearts are found. (Luke 12:34) If our focus is consistently on our bodies, it proves that our focus is still on the external beauty. However, if our attention is on that spirit, then our priority is on the inward beauty of the heart.
Developing our inward beauty takes work, just like developing our outward beauty. Gratefully, the grace of God, has already given us the attributes. It’s up to us to “feed” that inner beauty like we would slather on lotion and brush our hair for shine. It takes effort, but it is worth it! It is, after all, incorruptible. The outward, on the other hand, is deceitful and passing and never produces lasting, gratifying results (Proverbs 31:30).
Here are a few ways to keep the inward beauty polished:
- Spend time with Jesus on a daily basis. He is the author of beauty, and knows better than anyone how to make the spirit within shine on the outside! He was the One who put that beautiful spirit there in the first place, and deserves a say in its development!
- Read God’s Word on a daily basis. Jesus and His Word are inseparable. When we keep the His Word in front of us, we will have a constant reminder of what true beauty really is. We will also be able to identify counterfeits of beauty when they appear because we’ve been so engrossed in the real thing.
- Hang around people who are pursuing true beauty, too. “Iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17). When we make others of “like faith” our closest companions, they can help us stay strong and vise versa. They will be an encouragement, and not a pull down.
- Avoid magazines and entertainment that glorifies the exterior beauty. See my “The Beauty Detox” page for more on this!
- Look for ways to practice Galatians 5:22-24 and Colossians 3:12-14. By keeping our hearts alert to the Holy Spirit, we can find opportunities to let our beauty shine! The more we act on these characteristics, the more we train our flesh to be subject to our spirit beauty. Before long, living out of our inner beauty will become second nature. It’s not for our glory, but for His!
God sees our spirits as precious. He put it there and He lives there. He delights in it when we make our spirits our priority. We may slip up once in a while and let our natural beauty take priority. We may get our focus out of line when we feel pressured by the world’s form of beauty. We don’t, however, have to stay in that place. We can boldly rise up and take our stand in the world of “set apart” young women. We can let the glamour of His nature shine through us, unashamedly, like jewels in our crown!