We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Bruce Sampson.
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.”
We’ve all seen it before or maybe you’ve been in this position. A drop-in from out of town shows up to class and you can just tell they are a serious CrossFitter. They’re decked out head to toe in all the coolest gear. You know what I’m talking about. They have the No Bull trainers with the gum soles, the Matt Fraser sweat guards on their wrist, or the Fleo shorts that show off the legs you are dreaming for when you’ve trained so hard at the gym. Whatever assumption you happen to make about that person next, I believe one of the roots of our insecurities can be a need for approval.
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want approval? It’s not bad in itself to want to dress nice, or to be complimented every once in awhile. However, when the external factors of our appearances become more important than the internal content of our heart, we can slip into some self-destructive thinking. Some of these patterns of thought could lead to a constant need to prove yourself, a debilitating habit of comparison, or a lack of gratitude for what you have because you’re always needing more.
I know what you’re thinking, “We’re talking about clothes here not life or death!”. But Peter had the same urgency when he wrote to the Christians in persecution under Roman control. They could have just as easily been distracted by the way the upper-class women in Roman society would have shown off their expensive jewelry or worn their hair elegantly braided for the purpose of gaining attention. Soon the Christians would have found themselves putting their trust in the approval of others and abandoning their faith in Jesus who set them free.
I believe Peter was reminding the Christians where their ultimate approval came from. Rather than finding our beauty in the physical appearances that fade away, we know of an imperishable beauty and worth that comes from God. What pleases God is the humility given to us empowered by the Spirit to keep a gentle and patient character. We know that we don’t have to seek approval from God because through Jesus Christ he already approves of us.
Thank you Jesus for rescuing me from the need to gain approval. I confess that I’ve searched for approval in _________. I want to begin to trust that your approval of me matters the most. Be my help when my heart fails me and my character is at risk. I want to reflect who you are everywhere I go. It’s in Your name I pray, amen.
It’s gym day! Who can you find that needs an encouragement today? We all like approval. How can you compliment them in a way that sees past their external appearances? For RX+ ask how you can pray for them!
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