15 October 2012

A 31 Day Grand Prix {day 15} ~ Multitude Monday - 1000 Gifts ~ all Greek to me!

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear." (1 Peter 3.3-6)

I'm loving looking at these words in more detail this month - and seeing how the Holy Spirit speaks to me each day. I can't believe that today is nearly the halfway point (at least as far as blog posts are concerned. One bible study strategy I often use is to take the verses apart, one word at a time, and ask the Lord to impress on my heart what He wants me to learn from that particular verse that day... and then, as I meditate on that word throughout the day, reflecting on all that comes to mind, all that the Lord brings to mind, I'm sometimes astounded by what He shows me. It is also a great way to be ever mindful of God and to truly be in a constant state of fellowship and communion with Him... even when I'm not on my knees or sitting beside an open Bible or overwhelmed with the amazingness of all that He has created. (I think I first heard/read about this in Louie Giglio's I am not but I know I AM.)

I thought it might be fun to share something I've gleaned from the actual practice of this strategy this month. I tripped right over it... as I read the first two words of this passage:

Your ~ 
In the Greek, the original word is a relative pronoun, genitive feminine plural case... instead of a personal pronoun. (Are you impressed that I knew all of that? Don't be. I just looked up the abbreviations in my on-line Strong's Concordance!) However, what that does mean is that to understand the descriptive word/words that will follow, I have to be clear on the antecedent noun preceding this pronoun. The job of this word is to relate the two - where the words that follow specify, give precision to and further identify the specific noun being discussed. The noun being discussed is wives, to whom Paul is speaking, and the identifying qualification is their beauty or their adorning. Genitive means it shows possession or origin... so that the beauty or  adorning was something that God and Paul considered theirs... a gift given to them from God, perhaps. It was the fact that this word also is used to indicate origin that most impressed me as I mediated that day, because it contains within the idea of where the adorning starts... where the beauty comes from. One final thought? It is a plural "you," and so is meant to speak to many people, not just one specific woman. 

beauty ~
I learned so much as I looked at this word! Most significant? The original Greek word is kosmos... which sounds a lot like cosmos and for good reason. Its meaning is the world, or an ordered, created system, or harmony. It is also the word from which we get cosmopolitan (worldly, classy, modern, exciting and sophisticated) and cosmetics (Yeah... I took note of that, too... since those are the tools we use to beautify our outward appearance all the time!) The official definition is "the world, universe; worldly affairs; the inhabitants of the world; adornment." I also noted that the original world translated as beauty/adornment is a masculine noun... and is what is NOT to describe a woman's beauty... and had this fleeting thought that what prompts God to whisper in my heart "You are beautiful," is going to be very different from what might motivate any man to say that to me...

Of course, none of this is really any different than the general meaning I'd already gathered from this verse - that true adornment and attractiveness cannot be like a Christmas tree on which sparkly ornaments hang; rather it is something that emanates from the change the Lord has already effected within, from His living and active Presence evidenced in the life led... Since, however, I love words, I find it totally mesmerizing how this message is communicated and reinforced even in those very intricate and fine details of the actual words themselves and their usages.

God is very clearly saying that the origin of true beauty cannot be based off of man's opinions, or the world's standards and practices for becoming beautiful or recognized as such. Instead, beauty is something He gifts to us the moment He changes our hearts and gives us His Spirit to take up residence within. If we accept that gift and then allow His gentleness and quietness to become one of our defining characteristics, seeping throughout and then spilling out through all the nooks and crannies of our lives, then and only then does God Himself deem a woman beautiful.

this week's gratitude list:
(#'s 3196 - 3211)

a haircut and a conversation all at once

the headache that wouldn't go away, but that continually reminded me of my need for God's grace

enjoying times with a friend on Friday mornings

listening to kids try and figure out how to correctly pronounce "-er" and have fun, laugh and giggle while doing so

grocery shopping with Linda on Saturday mornings

so many words of encouragement in regards to my trip (TOMORROW)... yeah...

lessons planned, papers graded, tests written, substitute located... all set to hop on that plane

breakfast burritos with bacon

two days off last week

seeing progress in math

hearing good reports on my kids

co-workers who smile

in bed before 11 on a Saturday night... the entire family

sharing what God is teaching me with my big girls

deep and intense study in the Word


  1. Loving your gratitude list!!!

  2. Beautiful list! Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting. God bless!

  3. I love this in depth study and appreciated the work you went through.And this "beauty is something He gifts to us the moment He changes our hearts and gives us His Spirit to take up residence within." Beauty comes from God, something I need to be reminded of. Thanks!

    1. I love studying God's Word in this way. I'm glad the Lord used the lessons He's also teaching me to encourage you. Have a blessed day and please know that I'm thankful for your visit and kind words.


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