Saturday, December 13, 2008

Claire Smith on true beauty

True beauty is a heart that is pure, ... reverent and respectful, quiet and humble. ... Although they don't look like much, these inner qualities - this purity, this reverent fear, this quiet spirit, this humility - are really worth something. They're expensive adornment as far as God is concerned. ... [Quietness is] a peaceful attitude of the heart that comes from a confident and rock-solid trust in God. It's a quiet spirit because you're trusting God. True beauty is beauty of the heart, and do you know, it's so extraordinary ... that even unbelieving husbands will find it beautiful. ... A heart shaped by moral and ethical purity and reverence for God, gentleness, trust in God that frees us from worry and anxiety, and a conscious effort and commitment to inner beauty rather than external beauty. ... Forget the face creams, forget the sales, if we want our husbands to think we're really beautiful, this is where real beauty is to be found. And better, it's beauty that improves with age.
Claire Smith on 1 Pet 3:1-7 - Won Without a Word from Different by Design

image is from stock.xchng


Liz said...

[Quietness is] a peaceful attitude of the heart that comes from a confident and rock-solid trust in God. It's a quiet spirit because you're trusting God.

Oh I so need to hear this. I am becoming more and more aware of my propensity towards worry. The quiet trust God calls for is not there and so therefore I cannot truly rest.

I find that writing things down (a to do list or writing an email to hubby for example) or chatting about it with someone helps "get my head on straight". Are these strategies I should employ with regularity or should I shun them in favour of (trying to remember to) going straight to my knees and submitting it to the Lord Of All?

Sorry Jean... just thinking "out loud". ;-)

Jean said...

Funny you should ask, it's a question I have often asked myself this year! So maybe you could answer it for me??

The reason "writing things down" helps, apparently, is psychological: it forces you to use the more logical side of your brain, so things look more logical and less all over the place by the time you've finished.

I think you can combine this with prayer and laying things before God: you can write down things which are worrying you, pray on paper, write down Bible verses which help, write down answers and strategies God's word gives you.

But I agree: sorting things out using "human" means can be a replacement for dealing with things before God. Not that we should "shun" these strategies, but just be cautious that's not all we depend on.

Being in control is very important to me, so I depend a lot on lists, writing stuff down, making plans, talking things through. None of this is bad. But it can become a replacement for trusting God - another way to pander to my idol, control.

Which is why it's also important to pray about what's worrying me and looking forward to God lifting my anxiety as he promises (Phil. 4:6-7), fixing my eyes on Jesus by meditating on the cross and heaven, reading the Bible and getting God's perspective, preaching the gospel to myself when I'm worried - all the great means God gives us to help us overcome anxiety and trust in him.

In the end, though, trying to change the way I feel and think isn't just up to me - which is why it's good just to ask God to lift my anxiety, and to trust him. I've found he answers this prayer astoundingly, and it always surprises me!

These are just my ramblings from my experiences this year, and from my conversations with a friend who suffers from anxiety.

What do you reckon?

Rachael said...

Hi Jean.. no post today (16th). Everything OK?

Jean said...

Everything's fine, Rachael, but it's very sweet you should ask! Just had nothing to say - except for a light post requiring photos to be downloaded - and my camera isn't talking to my computer yet!!