1 Peter 3:3-4– “Your adornment must not be merely external…but let it be the hidden person of the heart…”
Heart in Greek is kardia. It refers to the imagination/morality/understanding of the mind. In Hebrew, the similar concept for heart is lebab. Deuteronomy 6:4 says “Love the LORD your God with all your heart (kol lebab), all your soul (kol nephesh), and all your strength (kol m’od). A word study on lebab/kardia reveals the heart is unique to humankind. Therefore, “the hidden person of the heart is also unique to humankind.
This matters to me because I struggle with body image. Like so many women, the external person of the physical body becomes an idol. It becomes the thing that matters most: exercise and you’ll be thinner, eat healthy and you’ll lose weight, wear that brand to make your butt look better, use this make-up and you’ll look sexier, spend a fortune on skincare so you look younger…
It’s a bombardment and assault on the heart. Over and over we are flooded with images and ideas that scream: YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH THE WAY GOD MADE YOU! DO THIS, USE THAT AND YOU CAN ACHIEVE GODLINESS…oh yeah…but it doesn’t involve God.
Sounds just like Genesis 3. The serpent assured woman that she would be more like God if she ate the fruit. But eating the fruit meant she could be like God, without God. “Made in the image of God” was not enough to be like God. Humankind chose idolatry: they chose something that would fill a need where they believed God would not.
1 Peter 3:3-4 reminds me that I am enough just the way I am. I am not enough because of anything I have done. I am enough because of what Jesus Christ ALREADY DID. My external body will fade and wither…but the inner person of my lebab/kardia will remain. That is who I want to invest in. She is who I can focus my beauty regime time/energy on.
I am NOT KNOCKING any skincare folks or fitness gurus…just challenging my brothers and sisters in Christ to evaluate why. An idol is ANYTHING that we say, “yes…this will satisfy me where God does not.” Remember, the LORD God is our refuge and our strength.