“Rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:4
Do a search on ‘beauty’ on Google, and you will come across many images of women with attractive hair and make-up. Beautiful? Yes.
Our appearance, after all, forms [a large portion of] our first impressions.
Without a word, your mind comes up with an idea of this person, based on their appearance alone.
Yet give it time — look a little closer… listen — and you will find that there is something more. Their speech, their actions and interactions with others, and the genuineness and consistency of each, will likely be the impression that stays with you.
Has that been your experience?
And if it was, why, then, is so much of our attention placed on the outward appearance rather than the inner person — the characters and qualities which make a person?
And the fear of how we are perceived as we interact with others…
This fear by which we act out of character in order to impress another…
Yet…Would it not be wiser to focus on developing these character/qualities in our lives– to live and act genuinely — rather than to temporarily adopt these characteristics as needed?
(The downside of donning on good character/qualities to impress another is that, eventually, the person whom you are will come through.
And, inevitably, if you were admired for the temporary good qualities that you did not possess, there will be disappointment.)
I wondered… Which, then, are the qualities I should hope to possess?
It brings me to this…
Fruit of the Spirit
A friend and I recently had this discussion: “How do our lives become testimonies for God? How do we know that He is at work within us?”
Then we came upon these verses in Galatians:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law…If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
– Galatians 5: 22-23, 25
When God is at work so that we grow, these fruits will become evident in our lives.
Then the ultimate question: Are these fruits (characters) evident in my life?
I’ve been thinking a bit of each of these fruits, and it is my hope to share more on each of them in the subsequent weeks (perhaps one per week?).
If you’re reading, I look forward to learning with you as we look to God’s Word (the Bible), as well as in the lives of others — past or present — who have exemplified these characters, and see what we can learn from them.
I’d love to hear about any insights you have on these fruits/characters as well!