“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.”(1 Peter 3:3-4)
The woman God desires you to be is not necessarily the one this world has fashioned you into. The apostle Peterdescribes the attributes of a good woman–precisely a good wife but really, his message aligns with every single woman. The script resonates with me because for the longest time, “gentle and kind” are two words that I’ve not totally affiliated myself with; very guilty–yes!
So what is this “good woman” Peter speaks about? Does it mean to say that beautifying myself is wrong? Hey, of course not! In essence outward adornment: your apparel, makeup etcetera should not be prime to you. Instead you ought to channel more of your energy toward inner beauty–your heart. Because that’s what true beauty actually is: your conduct–your very own personal brand! It is designated as “incorruptible”because while jewellery and apparel may wear and tear,the beauty of your heart remains forever untouchable. And though imperfect: it is precious still in the eyes of God.
Gentleness entails showing a warm, kind, and/or lovingpersonality. A gentle person is also calm and rational in a state of frustration. When Peter mentioned incorruptible beauty he was writing to Christians that were under suffering. They were suffering simply for what they believed in. Yet still these women were being urged to meet the circumstances with a GENTLE and QUIET spirit. Baffling isn’t it? How can you be gentle during distress? How do you afford to not retaliate against an offender, a bully?
Now there is an underlying belief that gentleness portrays weakness. And there’s a time when I also thought it proper. The vice-versa is actually true–a person’ strength can be depicted through their ability to remain calm during frustration and/or anger. Being quick to see fault in another and resorting to aggression does not exemplify strength. When you are gentle with yourself first, only then can you extend it to the next person. Practising gentleness may not be logical but it is outright peaceful. More importantly that’s what God wants from you.
…to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. (Titus 3:2)
Quietness is almost synonymous with gentleness;however the former weighs heavily on the absence of noise–being peaceable: to be still. It takes a lot of self-control to exercise stillness. Staying rooted in God’s promises is one manner to remain calm; because that way you’re constantly reminded of His truth: the security in His love.
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! (Psalm 46:10)
A quiet person does not stir up strife. In fact quarrelling is in essence “noise”. But there’s no way you can engage with another person and not disagree at some point? Yet, you can have polite and respectful disagreements versus being at each other’s throats. Again it takes self-control. Acting out of your feelings does not bring out your best-self because your reaction is solely governed by emotion.
He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly. (Proverbs 14:29)
Remaining quiet while you’re upset is actually commendable. It enables you to attain a state of calmness with which you’re able to relate with the next person. Surely, your counterpart might have done youwrong but that does not absolve you from hurting them back!
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20)
Now quietness does NOT mean to be silent: Gentleness does NOT mean to be complacent about injustices. Even while you are gentle and quiet, you can also be bold enough to stand for the truth. This means fighting for the good of others, more so yours as well! Raising awareness builds greater potential for change and mostly God aligns you with that purpose for a reason.
Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:9)
We need to ask God for his Holy Spirit, for it is only His gifts that enable us to entirely nurture our inner beauty!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22)
𝗪𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗻 𝗯𝘆: Mavis Kudakwashe