A Heart Adorned — Part Three of Four
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. 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NASB)
Welcome back to “A Heart Adorned”. Today, we reach toward understanding “the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit.”
Oh, I so wonder how I could shelter anything within me that is “imperishable”, “incorruptible”, “unfading”. I am human. I am just me. Yet, God’s Word tells me that I am to “let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality”, revealed in other versions of the Bible as “with the unfading beauty”,”with incorruptible beauty”. The words “incorruptible” and “imperishable” mean that something does not decay, or become corrupt or worsen with age. The Revised Standard Version of the Bible says “imperishable jewel.” Think of the diamonds, the rubies, the amethysts buried beneath the surface of the earth, covered, hidden, and even disguised by layers of rock and dirt. We don’t know they are there until they come into the light, have the layers of dirt cleared off. We have that precious jewel within us awaiting the indwelling of Christ. The value of me increased when Christ came to dwell in me and even more so with each layer of worldliness removed. I become more Christlike with every particle of dirt that is washed away. Value grows with our years when we stay near to the LORD. Our preciousness to God seeps out from the inner heart touching those we are with and near.
“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides,….” 1 Peter 1:22-23 brings me to my knees as my heart wraps around these truths. I am reborn, remade, renewed by the “incorruptible seed” of the Word. I am new and beautiful because of His sacrifice for me, FOR ME! FOR YOU!
This precious commodity is described as “a gentle and quiet spirit”. Colossians 3:12 tells us that Since God chose you to be the holy people whom He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Humility is often translated as meek, quiet, gentle. None of these words should be treated as inferior, weak, or worthless. Being meek is wholly relying upon God in all situations, good or bad. I have heard it described as “strength under control”. A horse trained to plow a field is strong yet gentle, able to be guided, under control. The etymology of the word meek in Old English is “soft, mild, gentle”, and “easily flexible” from the Middle English; from the Old Norse, is means “gentle, courteous, kind”–nothing negative in any of the original meanings. God calls us to clothe ourselves in these characteristics. A gentle person does not center upon the self, and is able to trust in God’s goodness and control over any situation. Of course, this is not about us, our will, or determination. It is about the Holy Spirit at work in us. As we wear meekness and gentleness, we carry an easy temperament and a quiet obliging behavior. We refrain from pride, jealousy, and uncontrolled anger. Our soul becomes more beautiful to the eyes of the world.
The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 29:19) LORD, may we know this fresh joy, this incorruptible seed, know it as it flourishes within us. One day the dirt and grime will be washed away. May the sun hit upon this precious jewel. And may we shine brightly to all those around. May it be so in me, LORD. May it be so in me. May I exult in You, my Holy One. May I shout in exultation. Amen.
What are you clothed with this day that shines upon your world
speaking of your relationship with Jesus?
Has the word “meek” been a word you have disdained? If so, how can you change that to fit with the Scripture in 1 Peter 3?
Graphic 1: Zach Fonville/redferriswheel @ Flickr; http://www.flickr.com/photos/redferriswheel/3060090408/; Some Rights Reserved/Creative Commons license; permission granted
Statue: “Gentle Woman” by Quinn Dombrowski @ Flickr; http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/3389946008/; Bonaventure Cemetery Set; Some Rights Reserved/Creative Commons license; notified