Lookin’ Good … On the inside

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 NLT

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment… rather it should be that of your inner self. (NIV)

When I read this, I don’t feel as though God is admonishing us not to enjoy attractive things or not to enjoy being attractive – but he is clearly saying that any “beauty” we may have on the outside is not true beauty.   It’s pretty easy to acknowledge this.   We’ve all known “beautiful” people that we were initially attracted to because of their good looks – but once we got to know them and saw that they weren’t so pretty on the inside, we didn’t have a whole lot of desire to be around them anymore.  And by the same token, we all know people that may not have initially been good-looking to us that the more we got to know who they were on the inside, the more beautiful they became.

People can work as hard as they’d like to be attractive on the outside.  Spend as much money as they want on their hair and make-up; jewelry and clothes; even on plastic surgery and other means of sprucing up their outward appearance – but ultimately, they will still be ugly if they are not beautiful on the inside.

There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.  Isaiah 53:2

Even when God himself chose to enter the human race in his Son, Jesus – he didn’t come as an amazingly attractive man that drew attention because of his good looks or his big muscles.  He didn’t come as a rich man that wore expensive clothing and gold.  He came as a simple man, whose kindness and sincerity attracted people to him.  Whose message drew people to follow him.

Beauty fades.  (Proverbs 31:30) That’s a fact.  And we can spend so much time trying to stop the natural progression of time and trying to keep ourselves good looking that we spend no time trying to make ourselves beautiful on the inside.  We are made attractive by the good things we do.  (1 Timothy 2:10)

It will not be our beautiful face or fancy clothes that attract people to the Good News that Jesus wants us to share.  It will be our hospitality and our kindness.  It will be our gentleness and our forgiveness.  It will be our joy and our faith.  It will be our honesty and our hard work.  It will be our giving attitude and our friendly smile.  It will be our willingness to listen and our caring heart.  It will be our humility.  It will be our love.

As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.  Proverbs 27:19

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