Scripture: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry 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.” 1 Peter 3:3-4
Have you ever seen a really attractive person — someone people can’t help but turn and stare at as they walk by? People with great God-given beauty may make a great impression, but it will be forgotten when the next beautiful person comes along.
What about a person who really knows Jesus and walks with Him? God’s grace and mercy flow through this person, resulting in encouraging words and good works. Do others pay attention when someone lives this way? We might not notice them at first, but their godly deeds leave an impression of goodness, and people’s lives can be changed because of them.
Each of those two people makes an impression. But only the second can impact others with eternal consequences.
Fleeting vs. Lasting Impact
The Bible tells us that “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30) God wants women AND men to be more concerned about our character and our “inner” beauty than our outward appearance.
Today’s scripture from Peter tells us not to give so much attention to “outward adornment,” but instead to cultivate “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:3-4). There is nothing wrong with making yourself look nice, but we must remember that outward beauty will fade, and its impact just as quickly. But inner beauty can keep growing your whole life, so that it’s your character people notice instead of your appearance. And then God receives the glory.
What lasts longer than forever? Nothing! When we share God’s love with others, we can help them find eternal life: “Everyone who believes in [God’s Son] will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). And, “Those who listen to My message and believe in God Who sent Me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life” (John 5:24).
So in gratefulness and love for God, and by His Holy Spirit working in us, we can do so much more than leave a fleeting impression of beauty; we can let God use us to change someone’s eternal destiny.