«Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—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”(l Peter 3:3, 4).
A television program on traveling invited a group of five men, born in a primitive village of the islands of the South Pacific Ocean, to get to know the North-American culture. They enjoyed the natural landscapes and the urban environment, tried all kinds of food, went around using different means of transportation, went shopping and participated in all sorts of cultural and leisure activities. Among these was a beauty treatment in a specialized center. The host who was leading them tried to interest them in obtaining a younger look and asked one of the natives when entering the center:
Would you like to look ten years younger?»
A little surprised, the guest answered,
«No. I would like to grow old and live ten years more than expected.»
The islander’s culture promoted longevity, with facial wrinkles and all, while western’s values were centered on the youthful look.
In order to improve physical beauty, the beauty industry spends millions every year in products and services that absorb a great part of the consumer’s personal budget. Clothes and shoes, for example, go far beyond their functional role and are purchased for their design, brand, or their ability to draw people’s attention. There are cosmetic products to enhance the skin, hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, nails, complexion . . . There is also jewelry that hangs down from various body parts in order to bring more light to the body image. In addition to the objects that we add to our body, there are the treatments we apply with the same goal. We speak of massages, clays, lifting, Botox, or even plastic surgery to retouch body details to make them appear more pleasant to the eye.
But the inspired writings make a distinction between two types of adornments.
On one hand, clothes, hairstyles and jewelry. On the other hand, a gentle and quiet spirit. The first can be bought but is temporary. The second is incorruptible and is received through the Holy Spirit who transforms the hearts and creates peaceful and gentle souls.
Pray that God transforms your heart and rid it of all evil, so that He may grant you the “beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,: which will allow you to be a blessing to others.