Monday, April 13, 2009

Beautiful me?

1 Peter 3:4 Says, "You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

As Louie and I dream of our future together, being parents some day, and all of the unknown adventures God may have for us, I wonder how beautiful my attitude and heart are before my God. Having such a... how do I put this nicely?... bold and "intense" personality at my most passionate moments, I have always been known by friends and those around me to have the kahunas to say what needs to be said when no one else will. I guess I've kind of always thought that if something needs to be straightened out, I'd rather get it out there and hash it out than leave it sit unsettled. Most of the times I do this cautiously and thinking before I say what I'm thinking, but not always. I sometimes find myself apologizing for being too honest or picking the wrong time to address things that need to be addressed. I am very aware of other people and when I say something that doesn't bode well with someone, I usually know pretty instantly. And I respond with honest humility and an appropriate apology.

While people usually know my intentions are good, I have been reproached (put in my place, if you will) about my "delivery" or what words I said or didn't say, and each time I learn how to be me better (and when to just shut up, too). This is incredibly humbling and uncomfortable for me, but I recognize as I continue to cry out to God to show me who I am and who I was created to be, He answers me pretty boldly since that's how I operate. So, I have learned to take criticism as constructive and figure that it usually comes out of the good will of others who want to see me grow as a person as well.

But am I known for the "unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit" too? Can the two dualities co-exist at the same time inside a person? I humbly pray that people also know me as someone who tries to "speak the truth in love." Ephesians 4:15 And that I am deeply convicted and sad if I hurt people with what I say. I struggle towards the goal in Eph. 4:29 which says, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." I want to build into people's lives, not tear them down. Although I am a well-intending person, I do make mistakes and I am in progress on these things.

So back to the opening verse: "You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God." I don't think this verse means that God intended for me to never say anything. Or that He doesn't like my willingness to talk straight with people when they invite me to do so. But, I do desire to be known as beautiful for my inner self. I do think that God intends me to filter myself so that I am loving when I say things and be a godly example to others. I do note that it says that you should be known for the gentle and quiet spirit, not that you have to hide the personality that you've been given. But that the true inner spirit should be gentle and quiet should radiate through my other characteristics is my prayer.

Those are my thoughts for this morning, and I pray that today God would grow me to be more beautiful on the inside, that it would reflect the me He intends for me to be.