Devotional for Sunday, June 17, 2012
Twilight: Inner Beauty
by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Peter's first epistle is addressed to "strangers in the world," who have their homeland in heaven. They are not surprised that they suffer when they do what is right. They follow the footprints of Jesus.
1 Peter 3:1–6
[Your beauty] should be ... the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight (1 Pet. 3:4).
Peter did not shy away from giving a little lecture to women on the subject of beauty. There aren't many male preachers who would dare do this today. But the apostle was bound to Christ alone, and that gave him a freedom that was above suspicion.
Peter spoke especially to women whose husbands resisted the gospel. "Don't preach to them," he advised. "Just show God's grace by your behavior. Your husbands have heard the word of grace, now show them the work of grace."
God's grace gives people an inner beauty. This beauty is a powerful witness to the truth of the gospel. For beauty conquers by its own power; it does not have to scream for attention. Beauty is never loud.
Peter offered no guarantee that an unbelieving husband will come to the faith by seeing what God's Spirit has done in his wife. There is no such guarantee. But the "unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit" is still "of great worth in God's sight." God rejoices in the work of his Spirit. God sees grace at work in the lives of people who display a gentle spirit. And God says of such people what he once said of the original creation: "That's beautiful!" God determines to keep these jewels forever.
Today all of us - male and female - are exposed to many lies about beauty. May God give us the grace and insight to cultivate the inner beauty that comes from him.