Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Heart at Rest, A Gentle Spirit, A Lasting Beauty

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great
worth in God's sight."
1 Peter 3:3-4

This week’s memory verse (find it here) is one that reaches deep in to my heart each time I read it. It seems to point out this very simple truth that I have yet to grasp completely. But, since it is the verse for this week, I want to talk about what it means to me – what those “gentle” and “quiet” words cause me to feel and long for and steep in.

I want to say one thing before I begin. I do not think this verse is teaching us, as women, that we mustn’t wear pretty things or have nice clothing. Instead, the point is that our beauty, our worth, our value is not found in these things. That is my mindset for the comments and thoughts that flow from 1 Peter into the words below.

“True beauty comes from the inner parts of us. Our inner self. A heart at rest.”

A heart wrapped up in the love of Christ.

A heart that looks more and more like Jesus each day.

A heart that is authentic.

A heart filled with eternal hope.

A heart that seeks to serve.

A heart that knows it’s Maker.

Beauty is not found in the latest trends, in straight hair or curly, in cowboy boots or fancy heels. It comes from the very inmost parts. We are talking about beauty of the soul. A beauty with much more staying power than the fleeting attributes of hair and skin and clothing. A beauty that permeates through, extending from the heart out.

I desire this beauty. I desire to live with a soulful beauty that invites other to sit and talk of things that matter, to be blessed by the presence of truthful words. But there are those moments in front of the mirror when I wonder if I’d be happier with the reflection if I could just find that perfect mascara…

There have also been moments when I read these words and think… “well I’ll just have to change myself, make myself more like her… she’s quiet, she’s gentle, she’s such a servant… my words? They’re often harsh and lacking compassion. my personality? It’s not gentle.”
But those thoughts are lies that I so easily accept, even while reading the truth. It is the Lord that changes me. And when He does, it is not to change me in to someone else, but instead, to transform me to look more like Him. And really, the more I look like Him, the more my heartbeat matches His, the more I become who I was created to be. 

A spirit at rest knows the truth. Knows that beauty of the soul comes from a knowledge of the Creator. When I abide in His truth, in His words that tell of my value, that remind me I am set apart for His purposes, when I rest in THAT… outpours gentleness, outpours a quiet peace that settles in to my very being.

The goal is not an on-the-surface-makeover, or even an I-should-be-more-like-THAT personality overhaul. Instead, it is a heart constantly molded and shaped, a soul ever transforming, an overflow of the attitudes of Christ.

“To have a gentle and quiet spirit is to have a heart of faith, a heart that trusts in God, a spirit that has been quieted by His love and filled with His peace. Not a heart that is striving and restless.”

All quotes come from Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’sSoul by John & Staci Eldredge

photo credit: Michelle Gow via photopin cc

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