“Don’t let your beauty consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes, but rather what is inside the heart — the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (I Peter 3:3-4, CSB)
Are you beautiful? If you are like me, you can name every little imperfection, wrinkle, and lump of fat. I know what a bad hair day is—and it is usually Monday through Sunday. I never seem to accomplish that sleek, finished look I see on others. Truthfully, I no longer even try. It is what it is.
True beauty is not measured by one’s dress size or weight, although society would like us to think so. Someone can have lank hair, crooked teeth, and fat feet and still be the most beautiful person in the room if their spirit is sweet. Some are fortunate enough to have both outer and inner beauty, but one lasts longer than the other.
Abigail, whose story is told in I Samuel 25, was beautiful in both looks and character. Unfortunately, her husband Nabal, was a man “harsh and evil in his dealings” (verse 3). He was the kind of person that others would tiptoe around to keep from setting off his rage. Yet, Abigail still managed to treat him respectfully while quietly caring for and protecting those of her household.
It was Abigail who kept everyone safe when Nabal refused to provide food to David’s men in payment for protecting his flocks and herdsmen. When faced with this extreme situation, Abigail quickly responded with bravery, humility, and diplomacy to save the lives of those who trusted her. Her quick action also saved the future king from retaliating with unnecessary bloodshed. Yes, Abigail had beautiful features, but it was her beauty of character that caused those of her household to trust and respect her.
Proverbs 31:10-12 (CSB) emphasizes the value of inner beauty and character.
“Who can find a wife of noble character? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will not lack anything good. She rewards him with good, not evil, all the days of her life.”
First Peter 3:3-4 echoes the message of Proverbs 31. It tells us that a gentle and quiet spirit are an imperishable (enduring, unfading) quality and can even lead to the salvation of a non-believing spouse. Inner beauty always outweighs our outward appearance.
So, ladies, don’t fret over cellulite, that extra ten pounds, or a slightly crooked nose. If the hearts of your loved ones can safely trust in you, that is what matters most. If you look in the mirror and only see outward imperfections, remind yourself that you are God’s creation and are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). You are beautiful in His sight and in the sight of those around you.
“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD will be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30, CSB)
Lord, help me to be more concerned with my character and inner beauty than with impressing others by my outward appearance. I want to reflect Your love, kindness, gentleness, and compassion to those I meet. If I begin to value outward beauty over inward character, remind me that I am made in Your image. You created me just as I am.