“Beauty On The Outside Never Makes Up For Ugliness On The Inside”

Neal Pollard

The late Harvey Porter wrote the words that make up the title of this article.  He was commenting on Peter’s words to women in 1 Peter 3:3-4, where the apostle urges them, “Your adornment must not be merely external -braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”  While there are matters here that would seem to more naturally pertain to women–braids, jewelry, and dresses–there are principles in these verses needed by everyone.

First, your adornment must not be merely external.  Whatever you are doing to fight the “Battle of Time,” you are losing.  Even if you are aging gracefully, you are aging!  Eventually, there is nothing you can do about it.  How foolish to only pay attention to skin, hair, body, and wardrobe.  As the title suggests, we all know some handsome and pretty people who are repulsive beneath that shaky surface.

Second, your must properly adorn your heart.  We are not left to wonder how.  Peter suggests to Christian ladies the “imperishable” (that means it will last) quality of a gentle and quiet spirit.  That precludes boisterous, coarse, gossipy, bitter, hateful, vengeful, arrogant, cutting, and petty.  People of that variety are a dime a dozen, commonplace in a world of the externally-obsessed and internally-negligent.

Third, properly adorning the heart is precious in God’s sight.  I have only been in one beauty contest in my life.  The same is true for most of you.  If you have been in more than one, the one we are all contestants in is the most important of all.  How do you look in the sight of God?  He judges beauty at its deepest, truest level.  He is evaluating that “hidden person of the heart.”  There is no talent, evening wear, or other, similar segment.  He is simply looking at your heart and your spirit.  Adorn that well, and Peter says God deems that “precious.”  How do we look to God?  Isn’t that what matters?  Care about that, and we will win the only beauty contest that will matter in eternity.

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