On Beauty

Full disclosure on this topic: I have been told I’m ugly basically my entire life. I know that in this blog post, I’m going to say that the final authority should be God, but I’m honestly a hypocrite. I know it’s not always easy to do that, and I can’t expect anyone to believe that all the time when I don’t myself. In writing this, yes, I am trying to convince YOU (the reader) that God should be the final authority on this topic, but I’m also writing this to try and convince myself of the same thing.

 

The definition of beauty is — the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).

The definition of ugly is– very unattractive or unpleasant to look at; offensive to the sense of beauty; displeasing in appearance.

 

Hmm, those definitions seem a little strange. The definition of beauty seems a bit objectifying.– maybe— but maybe not. There is that second part of the definition. “a meaningful design or pattern”. What does that mean? Well, most people would say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but does that really make sense?

Again, maybe.. of course someone can look at someone and think that person is beautiful, and another person can look at the same person and think they’re ugly. But the society generally agree that certain people are beautiful, such as models. But what makes those people beautiful? More than likely, it’s photos that have been retouched & photo-shopped.

So would the world agree that a person– the real person, without any re-touching?– probably not. Therefore, the world cannot be the final authority.

So who is the “beholder” who’s “eye” has the final authority? Well, God.. but doesn’t that seem a little bit like saying “well my mom says I’m awesome!”.. yeah, but your mom kinda has to say that, her opinion is a bit invalid..

The issue with this view is that we don’t really have another choice. We need to have someone (or something) to determine what beauty means, and because humans can change their minds so much and can have differing opinions, we need an objective view. That view can only come from a higher being.

So, what does God say about beauty?

Psalm 139:14a (NIV) –I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

1 Samuel 16:7 (MSG)   –But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.”

2 Cor. 5:17(NIV) –Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!

 

So what does God say? He says that we are wonderfully made. But now what a few of you may be thinking is “well yeah, we were MADE awesome, but then we sinned and screwed that up.” Well, now we’re into something further than outward beauty, but maybe that was intentional..

If God, the creator of the cosmos, doesn’t care about physical appearance, why should we? What matters is not the condition of the pimples (or lack there of) on our faces, but the condition of our hearts. So, in conclusion, yes, we were made perfect. “beautiful” in our spirits. Yes, we screwed that up by sinning. But in Christ, we are made a new creation. The condition of our hearts are seen through His sacrifice, and therefore, we are new. But we ought to act like it. No, this in NOT legalism. This is about character. Allow Christ to work through your life, become His creation rather than your own. “lord of my life you will be.”

 

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