1 Peter 3 vs.3-4 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes. Rather, 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.
The Bible has a lot to say about women and their priceless worth. Throughout Scripture, God makes it clear that women are important to Him - in fact, there are many great examples of strong women in the Bible to learn from.
We all strive to look our best each day whether we are at home or in work and school. This is important and there is absolutely nothing wrong with looking good and getting compliments from family, friends and colleagues. It makes us even more eager to look better and better each day. At times, we can incur huge costs in order to feel accepted in our different communities. This can be a good or bad thing especially where we end up borrowing more than we can afford to impress others.
I often challenge myself when I start to dress to impress and would rather dress and look good for me, and yes, fully aware that when at work I have to adhere to the business dress code but this should not become a burden and lead me to irresponsible expenditure.
One morning a few years ago, I was going to a meeting and when I got to the door to open it. I looked at myself and felt ugly, I didn't like what I was wearing, a brown skirt, top and jacket. I thought about the impression I would be creating and how my colleagues would perceive me. I feared they would laugh at me, I turned to change and that moment a small voice said "you should dress to impress me and not the world, go as you are there is nothing wrong with you".
I froze, I could not believe what I was hearing. It can be difficult to know how God speaks and to hear Him, this voice were loud thoughts which I clearly hadn't thought and knew without a shadow of a doubt was the reassuring voice of God. I breathed in, looked at myself and at that moment felt very beautiful and fulfilled, opened the door and went off to work.
On reflecting of my morning experience later that day, it dawned on me that the beauty the Holy Spirit had whispered to me was the 'inward beauty' that comes from living a life of obedience and holiness before God and that it wasn't about my outward appearance at all and yes whilst I should dress well, be clean and smell nice, if inwardly I was filled with hate, lived in sin, was far away from God, my outward appearance was nothing but a facade.
God desires us to be patient; full of love for others, kind and of a quiet spirit. When challenges come our way, our first point of call should be prayer. We can overcome by depending on Jesus and taking all our challenges to God's Throne of Mercy, alone we cannot do it. Zechariah 4 vs. 6 says "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."
Our outward appearance can belie the real us and we wear different masks when we present ourselves in different scenarios, we can come across as kind but engage in gossip and say horrible things about friends and colleagues behind their backs. We can also adorn ourselves with beautiful apparel which can be a mask of who we really are.
God is saying I want your quiet, meek humble spirit, someone who is teachable, ready to listen and live in obedience to God's Word. Your inner beauty will shine through to your outward appearance and those expensive clothes we so often desire will not matter so much. That was learning that morning when I felt ugly outwardly and God taught me a beautiful lesson about his expectations of us.
Dear reader, if you have not yet made the decision to follow Jesus and to accept Him as your Personal Saviour, I would prayerfully ask you to consider a relationship with Jesus. We all go through difficult and challenging times sometimes with no-one to turn to. In times such as those, you can turn to Jesus a trusted friend and adviser who will hear, listen, love, comfort and shepherd you. Prayer - O Most Faithful Father, we thank You for teaching us how we should be and what you expect to see in us. Many times we want to impress by how we dress outwardly, but Your Word Lord is teaching us that You desire a humble, gentle, patient and meek spirit. May we learn to be the reflection of Jesus that You desire, draw us near to You we ask. In Jesus name, Amen.