Posted by: Tamara Harrison | June 15, 2011

Deeper Beauty

“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

As a culture, we are obsessed with beauty. We spend so much time and energy trying to find ways to make ourselves look good. New clothes, diets, skin care, expensive makeup; you name it we’ll try it. Anything in the name of beauty, right? And it’s never enough. New products and the latest fashions send us on a never-ending search for outward perfection.

Well God is the Master of beauty; He created it. And as our wise and all-knowing Creator, what He has to say on the subject is valuable for us today.

When it comes to beauty, God tells us that our primary concern should not be the externals. These verses don’t say that it’s wrong to do our hair and wear nice clothes, in fact, I think doing such things can be a wonderful celebration of the extraordinary feminine beauty God has given women.

Instead, He says that there is something in a woman that is much more beautiful than what the eye can see. Something that’s deeper than the make-up, jewelry, and high heels. Something more powerful than great skin or beautiful clothes. Something more precious than a model-body.

God tells us that true beauty comes from within. We’ve heard this countless times before, but what does it really mean? And do any of us really take it seriously?

I mean, it seems much easier to make ourselves look good rather than work on our character. Working on our character can sometimes be painful because in order to do so we have to go much deeper. We have to look at our internal blemishes, the ones that can’t be fixed with cover-up.

Well God tells us exactly which characteristics produce unfading beauty. In fact, He narrows it down to only two: a gentle and quiet spirit. In lieu of the myriad of make-up brands, hair-styles, and accessories we can consume ourselves with, 2 character qualities seem doable.

So what does it mean to have a gentle and quiet spirit?

The meaning of the word “gentle” has to do with the word “moderate”. Moderate means to avoid excesses or extremes. Ouch, that hit home. A dictionary definition of “Tamara” would probably say “a woman of excesses and extremes”.

The meaning of the word “quiet” is to make or become silent, calm, or still; to be at ease and at rest. Ouch again. A look into my spirit would reveal a lot of noise. 

A noisy, stressed-out spirit is not beautiful. It shows up all over a woman’s face in the form of dark bags under the eyes and stress-lines on the face. On the other hand, a spirit that is calm and at peace produces a woman radiating with joy and light.

So how to we obtain this beautifully gentle and quiet spirit? God  would never tell us to do something if it were impossible. And I believe the answer lies in our relationship with God. As I was reading these verses, God revealed to me that gentleness and quietness come from trusting in Him.

Trust means to expect or confide. And amazingly, later on in this passage, it says “The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers” (v 12). So because God hears our prayers, we can confide in Him by casting our troubles on Him. Because God watches over us we can expect that He will do great things in our lives.

This kind of trust can calm a noisy spirit and balance out extreme behaviour, producing a gentle and quiet spirit.

And gentle and quiet doesn’t mean powerless, ineffective, or boring. No, gentle and quiet has the power to change an unloving husband and win him over to the Lord (verse 1). That is powerful. That is effective. And that is beautiful.

So don’t settle for beauty that is skin-deep. Go deeper. Confide in God, expect Him to do great things, trust in Him, and allow Him to transform your noisy spirit to one that is gentle and quiet. That will produce a beauty that will never fade and will far outweigh any type of external beauty.

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Responses

  1. Awesome thank you for reminding me of his grace


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