1 Peter 3:4
The loveliness that lives inside you.
“You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within. The unending beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is so precious to God.”
Looking for what you have lost
We as women spend our whole lives trying to define ourselves by the unrealistic expectations that we have either set for ourselves, or have let society set for us. Myself, being one of the female persuasion, often wonder why I do that? I will take my Mom’s view, my neighbors view, the latest trend on social media and televisions view on what a woman should look like. Most if not all of those opinions are based on nothing but a personal judgement and competition. No researched facts, nothing but trends and fads and what feels right at the moment. We fear looking like anything except what everyone else looks like. Once again we are looking around before or we look up for answers. If everyone else isn’t doing it then by golly, it can’t be right. I need the latest book, fashion, exercise equipment etc, then I will be whole and finally happy. If I follow this or that diet and this or that exercise program I can be proud of myself.
I can tell you with absolute certainty that you cannot invent a new kind of diet or exercise program, buy all the latest fashions, there is nothing that is going to work wonders for you long term unless you stop searching fruitlessly for what has thus far eluded you. As Dr. Phil says, how is that working for you?
If we lose ourselves to what society says we must, we are gaining nothing even if the latest program is successful. It won’t last. How many times have we lost 5, 10, 20 or even 100 pounds just to find ourselves putting it all back on and a few more to boot?
Could it possibly be that we are looking for what we need in all the wrong places? We all know the void we feel, you know, the one we try to fill with food or fancy clothes, exercise equipment that we never use. We are so inventive with the things we try to fill the void with but that is because we buy into what society says beautiful looks like and not the truth. It is important to remember where our beauty really comes from.
There are a lot of things that the void inside us can be filled with, but for the purposes of this writing I am speaking only of using food and weight loss to fill the empty place that resides in us. I speak of this because it is a subject that I have some expertise in and have in fact, lived with for every day of my life.
We are looking for what we have lost and the crazy thing is most of the time we don’t know that we have misplaced it. We feel the void but we attribute it to stress of life. This way of living is so ingrained in us that we are unaware we are on a one way trip to nowhere, or at the very least another trip to the Ice Cream Café. The thing is, after the ice cream excursion, we feel emptier than before. We feel guilt for being so weak. We feel stupid in our fat clothes. We feel there is nothing on this earth that is going to fix this for us. Well at least the last thought is correct.
There is sisters, a way forward, there are answers to finding what we have lost, if we know where to look for them. There is victory to be found.
In most cases the lives we live now are all we have ever known. We keep doing the same thing and getting the same results but expecting something different. Maybe the name of this chapter ia a little misleading. We spend our lives not so much looking for what we have lost but searching for what we never knew we had. The thing is we can have no hope of finding what has been eluding us for so long until we figure out just what we are looking for, where we can find it and how to keep it once we find it.
If we are honest with ourselves we ARE concerned with what we look like when we venture into the world. We adorn ourselves with the latest fashion, coordinating jewelry, and shoes. To be sure there is nothing wrong with this as long as it is not our primary goal. We were created to worship the God who created us. We were not created to be thin, fashion horses, exercise goddesses or anything else we try to mold ourselves into.
I have to believe that we are all looking for the beautiful, lovely, gentle and strong person who is inside us. The Bible tells us there is an unending gentle and quiet spirit in all of us. God has placed a beauty in each and every one of us that absolutely shines if we let it. The fact is, we are beautiful simply because we have been created that way. Why is it so hard for us to believe that. Why is it so hard for us to take God at His word?
Because sisters, we live in a human world that treats God’s word as an afterthought and not the unerring Book of Life that it is. Like Ronald Reagan said, within the covers of the Bible lie the answers for all our problems.
I want to open that well inside me that boils with unending gentleness and beauty. I want the loveliness that lives inside me. I want to know it is there and I want to know it will never fail me. Let’s start with what the Bible says about this subject.
In 1 Peter 3:3-4 the apostle Peter wrote the following to Christian wives.
“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 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” (1 Peter 3:3-4).
I asked earlier how we can take what the Bible says about Christ living inside us and make it our own story. The answer is probably not what you want to hear and is certainly not easy to live out. However, the truth is that you simply decide to live as God would want you to. Period, that is it. You make the choice to look to God first and the world second. We decide to weave our lives with purity, reverence and holiness. We must clothe ourselves with the things God has called us to do.
I am so glad that I can look at my world with glasses colored with His glory. I stand tall knowing that I am ALL that God created me to be. God does not love me in spite of who I am, He loves me because of who I am! I can live a successful and joyous life because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)