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.”
When I read the devotion below, it reminded me of the passage above. It comes from my NIV Women’s Devotional Bible and I wanted to share it because I think it is easy for all of us, especially women and myself included, to be extremely consumed by our temporal outward appearance that we tend to nearly neglect, if not altogether, the condition of our eternal soul. If you are a man reading this and know you spend a plenty amount of time examining yourself in the mirror, this will be good for you too.
Read: Jeremiah 2:32-33
Key verse: Jeremiah 2:32 – “Does a maiden forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten Me, days without number.”
Like many women each morning, perhaps you wake up, pour yourself a cup of caffeine, take a shower and then get ready to meet the world. You pick out an outfit (preferably one that makes you look five to ten pounds lighter), do your hair and put on makeup. Finally, you add jewelry, a belt and maybe a purse. Voila! You’re ready to meet the day.
The care involved in our routines begs the question: How much time do we spend getting ready spiritually each morning? Do we take any time at all to ask God to guide us during our day? Do we read the Scriptures, meditate or pray so that we can be more patient, kind and loving with our spouse and children? Or do we worry more about getting out the door than about the condition of our hearts?
Caring for our outward appearance is not wrong…as long as we don’t neglect focusing on our inner thoughts and attitudes too. The prophet Jeremiah noted that women are unlikely to forget their accessories, but God’s people are prone to forget Him. If we’re honest, we’ll admit that we are much like the Israelites. In the midst of our busy lives, God often gets pushed to the bottom of our to-do lists. But spiritual growth happens from the inside out.
Try this: Tomorrow as you shower, praise God for the cleansing that Jesus’ forgiveness provides. As you’re getting dressed, thank God for clothing you with Christ’s righteousness. When you put on your moisturizer, ask God to soften your heart to His leading throughout the day. As you apply your makeup, thank Him for being the foundation of your life. When you put in your contacts, ask God to give you eyes to see His workings in the world. And as you put on your earrings, thank Him for beautifying your life with the fruits of the Spirit.
Who knows? After talking to God throughout the morning, you might not even need caffeine!
1. What “enemies of the soul” (busyness, etc.) cause you to sometimes forget to take time with God?
2. How much time do you spend daily in prayer and Bible study, preparing your heart for the day?
3. What are some ways you can become more balanced in your life?
“Help me, God, to slow down, to be silent, so I can hear You and do Your will and not mine.” Marian Wright Edelman
I appreciate how the last large paragraph applies biblical truths in a very real way. I encourage you to join me in reflecting on our identity in Christ and the richness He adds to our lives as we prepare for a new day. May our hearts be receptive to His leading for whatever challenge or opportunity may come our way and may you be blessed as you do so!