I don’t think there’s a woman alive who doesn’t like beautiful clothes or jewelry. While my taste may differ from yours we all like beautiful things. And this goes beyond things made by man to the creation itself. Look at the flowers, the feathers of birds and the breathtaking mountains capped with snow. See exotic islands and amazing creatures on land and sea--all of it points to a God who delights in beautiful things (Mt. 6:28-30).
We have inherited this enjoyment of beauty and desire to decorate our homes and our bodies from our father. And this is good. We should add to the “lovely to the good, and the beautiful to the useful” (J. A. James)
But outward beauty has become an idol to God’s creatures. It has become so important in our society that girls starve themselves to be a certain size and others go into debt in order to have the clothes they desire. We are often looking for the nicer house and the newer car. We covet the things our friends have and struggle with discernment when we look at our own lives.
Peter gently reminds us that there is a greater beauty to attain. One that is not outward but inward. A beauty that has eternal value.
"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive
jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should be known for the beauty that comes from within,
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,which is so precious to God."
1 Peter 3:3-4
How fun would it be to roam through the castles of Versaille and Neuschwanstein while wearing the gowns and jewels of the queens who once lived there? But think about this,
That beautiful woman glittering in all the profusion of diamonds--the admiration and envy of the party or the ball room--must before long be a mass of putrefaction too ghastly to be looked upon--and then a hideous skeleton, a collection of bones, a heap of dust!
- John A. James
We should spend more time decorating our immortal souls than our dying bodies “for the jewels with which it decorated itself on earth are as indestructible as its own nature, and go with it to shine in the presence of God!” (J.A. James)
Instead of being consumed with material things, we should look to accumulate treasures that will be useful in this life as well as in the life to come.
So what are these ornaments of the soul?
They are truth, holiness, knowledge and wisdom. They also include humility, meekness, faith, kindness, joy and all the other fruit of the spirit.
These may not be the most popular decorations of our day, but we do not belong to this word. We belong to a kingdom whose King wears a robe of righteousness and a crown of justice. He sends us ornaments that are from his kingdom and we are to wear them proudly to show who we belong to.
These jewels cannot be taken from us. They do not lose their value and in the darkest circumstances of our lives they will shine brightly.
I think it might be time for me to study some of those ornaments, to look at their different facets, and to ask the Holy Spirit to apply them to my soul.
To be continued …