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A letter from the apostle Peter

Inner beauty

“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)

Women tend to enjoy external adorning, like jewelry and clothing. And men tend to be attracted by women’s looks. That’s good. External beauty is one of God’s gifts to humanity. He did not create plants, animals and humans to just be functional, but gave each their own beauty. And within marriage, physical attraction may be enjoyed and received as a blessing from God.

But the apostle Peter warns his readers not to be excessively focused on external beauty, as if that would be the most important thing in life. No, he says, “the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” is far more valuable in God’s sight.

This focus on inner beauty instead of outward appearance is a recurring theme in the Bible. “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7). Let this motivate you to not (only) focus on external adorning, but on the transformation and sanctification of your heart. That’s not a do-it- yourself project. We can ask God for help: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10).

Is your inner beauty indeed more important to you then your outward appearance?

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Grietje Commelin

Grietje studied theology and mastered in Bible Translation. Next to being a mother, she supports GlobalRize by writing bible reflections and other content for GlobalRize.

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