1 Peter 3:3-4
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
This month the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue hits the newsstands in what has become a hyped promotion for inappropriate viewing. The issue will be checked out improperly by men (and boys) and curiously by women. One female athlete said that the only reason she wasn’t in this issue was because they didn’t ask her. She said, “I was stoked to see those girls posing. It was awesome. I always get the swimsuit issue. It’s fun to see…the styles and where they’re shooting. Definitely, it’s something that would be cool to be in.”
The trap of outward appearance, whether wearing too much or too little to draw attention, has been an issue since Job made a covenant with his eyes not to look lustfully at a woman (Job 31:1). In our passage today, the apostle Peter weighs in. Peter is not writing against hairstyles, jewelry, or fashionable clothes. Instead, he is writing against the temptation to spend more time primping the fleshly “outward” look than prepping the spiritual inward character.
At the end of the day, each person must determine who they are trying to impress. Remember what God told the prophet, Samuel, about being swayed by the exterior. He said, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature…. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Father, do not let us fall into the outward appearance trap. While we appropriately take care of our bodies, may we invest our time to develop eternal character that shines through aging faces and weakening physiques until we arrive at our eternal home. In Jesus’ name. Amen.