Monday, 6 May 2013

imperishable beauty

...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 3:4)

What a humbling verse this is. It rebukes me for my senseless forsaking of the better things. I trade matters of the heart for matters of fashion and outward appearance. I am often just like Narcissus, so wrapped up in myself that I forget others, blind to everything, even my own state.

"Narcissus so himself forsook,
And died to kiss his shadow in the brook."

There are some things I must daily learn and apply in my life:

- hidden
Unlike outward appearance, this adorning is never for show. It is concealed. Often we can have competitions with others regarding how we look on the outside. We are critical beings, gazing with our self-appointed-expert eyes upon others and giving them a thumbs up or down. This adorning, this hidden person of the heart, is an adornment that only God can see. With this hidden adornment, we do not say, "I thank you God that I am not like these terrible-looking other people....", modeling and parading ourselves in front of others in order to raise ourselves just that much higher. Taking care of your outward appearance is fine, but it is far more important to take care of this hidden beauty of the heart.

- imperishable
Physical beauty changes and fades, but this beauty is incorruptible, immortal, never out of style. It is an eternal beauty, which makes it far more important - and far better. Outward beauty is good, and caring for our appearance is not an evil. But we ought to pay attention to the imperishable, spiritual beauty.

- gentle
The first thing about this hidden and imperishable beauty is gentleness. Gentleness is "demonstrating power without undue harshness". It is reserve and strength, power and self-control. It is having power and strength, but restraining it. It is giving a soft touch when you could give a falcon punch.

- quiet
The second thing is quietness. It is being peaceful, tranquil. Steady, "settled due to a divinely inspired inner calmness". It is not lashing out with words and actions, but "keeping one's seat". Being able to control yourself rather than exploding in anger or frustration.

- precious
Of all the reasons to cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit, this is number one: God finds it precious. What he finds precious ought to be our number one desire. That it is precious means it is of great value. Costly. Excellent. Of surpassing worth. In God's sight, a gentle and quiet spirit is very precious. Friends, let us see the value just as God sees it, and let us seek to cultivate this gentleness, this quietness, that we may better represent Christ and better love one another. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach. ~Winston Churchill

Smart guy.