What Defines Beauty?
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Which of the 50 US states is the most beautiful? Which one is the ugliest? One person’s choice for ugliest state, might be someone else’s choice for most beautiful. Afterall, what defines beauty? In today’s message we will discover the answer to that question and find out what it has to do with our relationship with God.
I was recently having a discussion with a friend on the subject of which state is the most beautiful. My friend and I held opposing views. What I thought was ugly, he thought was beautiful. Who was right? In the song, God bless America, we acknowledge that from mountains to prairies, to oceans white with foam, God has blessed America. We sing about the fact that every part of the country holds its own unique beauty.
We could also debate which country is the most beautiful and which is the ugliest. It could be debated which house on your street is the most beautiful and which is the ugliest. A similar debate could be held about pictures in an art museum. I guess that is why we say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
What about when it comes to people? Which person is the most beautiful and which is the ugliest? If we could ask God which person alive on the planet today is the most beautiful, I feel certain God would say you are! He would say that because God created each of us with our own unique beauty. No one is the same. Uniquely speaking, each and every person is the most beautiful in his or her own special way.
So what then defines beauty? Perhaps the answer is this simple. God’s creative genius defines beauty. If God created it, then God must think it beautiful. God doesn’t create ugly, and God doesn’t create junk.
This 1970 Grammy-Award winning song “Everything Is Beautiful” by Ray Stevens fits beautifully with today’s message. Do yourself a favor and sing along with this video.
The examples at the beginning of this message demonstrate that the difference between beauty and ugliness is subjective. As stated, it resides in the eye of the beholder. Yet, we often look at ourselves and assume that because of our sins and past mistakes, God must see us as no longer beautiful. We presume He must see us as a damaged, tarnished, or worse yet, flat out ugly. Nothing could be further from reality.
With that said, however, some of the beauty God creates does get subjected to attack over time. And when speaking of people, we know that sin attempts to tarnish the beautify God created. There is good news, however. God has the ability to see through the stain and tarnish of sin, and He can always still see the utter beauty of each human being who was uniquely created in His own image.
The Bible tells us that “The Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” It also says we are “wonderfully made.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 states, “Your adornment should not be an external one: braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or dressing in fine clothes, but rather the hidden character of the heart, expressed in the imperishable beauty of a gentle and calm disposition, which is precious in the sight of God.”
So if today, you are feeling worn, tarnished, and stained by sin, or damaged by this messed up world, don’t allow yourself to lose hope. God knows us better than we know ourselves. Afterall, He fashioned and created us. Despite your sins and flaws, God never stops seeing your true and unique beauty. And, more importantly, He never stops loving the beautiful you, He created!
Heavenly Father, thank you for the beauty of all creation. When you looked down on all you created you found it to be very good. Lord, you created me in your image. Sometimes I lose sight of that. Help me to see myself as you see me. Help me to understand that your Son alone has the power to remove my sins and restore my created beauty. Amen!
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Positive spin Brian. Emphasis on spin. Yes we have our own the eyes here on earth where I see ugly people who menace and physically attack other peopleon the street. But inside prison (Kairos) I don’t see ugly. Funny thing.
Enjoy FL. So brave you two. God keep you.