1 Peter 3:3-4—”Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”
There are schools known as ‘finishing schools’ where young adults or children are groomed in the etiquette and fine graces of society. Even otherwise, we groom or prepare our children and adolescents to face their future in this world. The question we must ask is, what are we grooming them or ourselves towards? Are we concentrating on our physical bodies – a six pack, a toned body perhaps? Or, is the focus on our minds – to learn atleast a few new concepts or some steps to a new skill a day? What about our heart? Does it figure in this development effort?
What is God interested in – beauty in the external form or the internal form?
In Genesis 3, Eve saw the beauty in the fruit – “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes…”. Was this wrong? No. It was indeed intended to be beautiful. In Genesis 1:11-12, on the third day during the creation; when God spoke grass, herbs with seeds, and fruit trees into being, it happened. “And God saw that it was good.”
Eve did nothing wrong when she recognized the beauty God had made but erred when she made the outward beauty a higher priority than the internal qualities of trust in God (for her future) and obedience to God. Do we do something similar today? Are we tempted to value our outward appearance higher than what’s on our inside?
Although God wants us to appreciate beauty, Peter elucidates what God considers precious – it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.
We must guide our heart and train it to value precious qualities – compassion, mercy, love, and generosity. However, if we get busy with focus on beauty, fame, material possessions, or wealth, we can easily overlook those qualities. We can groom our hearts to value Godly qualities, for example, observe generosity of others, curb our anger from rising inside and extend compassion to others, just like we always get from Jesus.
When we do things to please God, remember, Phillipians 4:19-“And my God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Groom your heart.
Proverbs 27:19—”As in water face reflects face, So a man’s heart reveals the man.”