TEXT : 1 Peter 3:3‐4
By Bro. Chris Afekolu (Bishop)
Let your beauty be not just the outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on fine clothing; but in the hidden person of the heart, in the incorruptible adornment of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God very precious. (1 Peter 3:3‐4 WEB)
You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. (NLT) (1 Peter 3:4 )
The expression “the inward man” is used sometimes to denote the rational part of man as opposed to the sensual; sometimes the mind as opposed to the body, (comp. 2Co 4:16; 1Pe 3:4).
The “inward man” in Eph. 4:24 is called “the new man,” and denotes not the mere intellect, or conscience, but is a personification of the principles of action by which a Christian is governed; the new nature; the holy disposition; the inclination of the heart that is renewed.
We spend a lot of time focusing on our outward appearance such as perfecting our hairstyle, improving our physique, selecting the right clothes. In all, a lot of thought and energy goes into creating just the right look. Do we spend the same amount of time cultivating our inner beauty? We know what inner beauty looks like…patience, generosity, peace‐loving, fearless, our temperament, our choice of words, our communications, knowing when to say No, humility, and filled with a silent strength.
Are we spending more time worrying about the colour of our teeth instead of the kind of words that come out of our mouth?
Ultimately our words are a reflection of our heart.
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (Matthew 12:34 KJV) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. (Luke 6:45 KJV)
Are we taking time to nurture the kind of words that comes out of our mouth or worrying over our outward appearance?
1 Peter 3:3‐4, In preferring the ornaments of the mind to those of the body. Religious people should take care that all their external behaviour be answerable to their profession of Christianity: They must be holy in all manner of conversation.
Secondly, the outward adorning of the body is very often sensual and excessive; for instance, when it is immoderate, and above your degree and station in the world, when you are proud of it and puffed up with it, when you dress with design to allure and tempt others, when your apparel is too rich, curious, or superfluous, when your fashions are fantastical, imitating the levity and vanity of the worst people, and when they are immodest and wanton. The attire of a harlot can never become a chaste Christian matron.
Instead of the outward adorning of the body, he directs Christian wives to put on much more excellent and beautiful ornaments, v. 4. Here note, First, The part to be adorned:
The hidden man of the heart; that is, the soul; the hidden, the inner man. Take care to adorn and beautify your souls rather than your bodies.
Secondly, The ornament prescribed. It must, in general, be something not corruptible that beautifies the soul, that is, the graces and virtues of God’s Holy Spirit. The ornaments of the body are destroyed by the moth, and perish in the using; but the grace of God, the longer we wear it, the brighter and better it is. More especially, the finest ornament of Christian is a meek and quiet spirit, an easily managed temper of mind, void of passion (intensely emotional), pride, and immoderate anger, discovering itself in a quiet obliging behaviour towards their husbands and families.
If the husband be harsh, and averse to religion I.e. Strongly oppose to religion, (which was the case of these good wives to whom the apostle gives this direction), there is no way so likely to win him as a prudent meek behaviour. At least, a quiet spirit will make a good woman easy to herself, which, being visible to others, becomes an amiable ornament to a person in the eyes of the world.
Thirdly, The Excellency of it. Meekness and calmness of spirit are, in the sight of God, of great price ‐ amiable in the sight of men, and precious in the sight of God.
Note, 1. A true Christian’s main care lies in the right ordering and commanding of his own spirit. Where the hypocrite’s work ends, there the true Christian’s work begins.
- The endowments of the inner man are the chief ornaments of a Christian; but especially a composed, calm, and quiet spirit, renders either man or woman beautiful and lovely.
There is an honour due to all who are heirs of the grace of life; who are called in to be Christians.
I urge all brethren to take care to behave themselves so lovingly and peaceably one to another that they may not by their exposure to worldliness hinders the success of their prayers and depriving others the grace God. Consider developing your inner man to be a better child of God.