June 4, 2015
READ: 1 Peter 3:3-6
Clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within (v.4).
God has given me new things to treasure and value since I left America for Uganda 6 years ago. Some of the interests and things that I truly enjoyed before moving to my new ministry have, to my surprise, been replaced. I haven’t even missed American football—my favourite sport! Nor have I missed many things that my birth country’s culture suggests are necessary for fulfilment, significance and happiness.
In Africa I’ve discovered beauty in watching the face of an impoverished child light up after receiving a gift of clothing, in witnessing a mother as she loves and cares for her sick child, in seeing a starving child share his meager food portions with a sibling, and in hearing children express gratitude in being able to attend school.
Among the poor in Sub-Saharan Africa I’ve gained deeper understanding of “the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God” (1 Peter 3:4). I have better understood how this type of loveliness, observed by pure and reverent living, pleases God more than “the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewellery or beautiful clothes” (v.3).
Though the meek aren’t exclusively found living in poverty in Africa, it’s here that I more strongly grasped that the humble are blessed and “will inherit the whole earth” (Matthew 5:5). It’s in this place that I more deeply appreciate that “God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (v.4). I also found greater comfort in God’s promise that He “blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied” (v.6).
God provides what we need to grow in faith—including encouragement from Scripture that causes our hearts to grow in confidence and hope. By His work, we’re better primed to see beauty—and all of life—as He does.
365-day-plan: Jonah 3:1â€“4:11
In addition to kindness, tolerance and patience, what are some attributes of God that Romans 2:4 says we can see?
How does your view of beauty differ from God’s? How can you begin to better realise His values in your thinking and choices?