Tag Archives: beauty

Beauty: A Biblical Perspective

Have you ever played the word association game. Someone says a word, and you say the first thing that comes into your mind when you hear it. Tree – apple. Bird – robin. Food – chocolate. Beauty – …. What word just popped into your head? Maybe it was an image instead of a word, or the name of a famous actress. Let’s look at what beauty is from the ultimate source, God’s Word, and use His definition to combat some lies that so many of us struggle with.

Lie: I can’t be beautiful unless I’m skinny and look like __(fill in the blank with your favorite model/actress)__.

Truth: First, let me say that skinny does not necessarily mean you’re healthy (see post on Health: A Biblical Perspective). Beauty begins on the inside and works itself outward. Though clothes and makeup may help make us more appealing, they do not make us beautiful! We have been brain-washed since our youth by the media. A person is beautiful because of who they are, not how they look or what they wear! God made each of us different and loves each of us. I’m an identical twin! And even though people who don’t know us well tend to confuse us, my sister and I are very different. Different is good. Imagine how boring life would be if we all looked and dressed the same! I Samuel 16:7 says, “man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (emphasis mine).

Lie: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Truth: Beauty is defined first and foremost by God! I Peter 3:3-4 says, “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (emphasis mine).

Lie: “It’s all about me” or “I have to love myself first.”

Truth: The self-esteem movement is growing rapidly. Phrases like “I have to love myself first” or “It’s all about me” are common philosophies being driven into our heads. First, very few if any persons hate themselves, no matter what they say.  If a woman truly hated herself, she would be doing everything possible to harm herself. When people are down on themselves and saying they hate themselves, the truth of the matter is that they actually love themselves; they’re consumed with nothing more than self and what others think of them. We are naturally self-focused. The Bible tells us to “Love others as you love yourself.” Why? Because we know how much we love ourselves, so it’s a good reference point for us! Here’s a good resource on dealing with self-esteem issues from a biblical perspective: http://www.pursuingthetruth.org/sermons/files/self_esteem.htm.

Lie:  I need new clothes or a makeover to be beautiful.

Truth:  Eccl. 8:1b says, “A man’s wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed.” Wisdom produces true beauty. Where can wisdom be found? Only in the word of God.

Conclusion: God looks on the heart. We are created in God’s image. We are made beautiful by His wisdom. He made a choice to redeem us! II Corinthians 10:5 tells us to cast down any imagination that exalts itself above the knowledge of God. So, if any thought I have is not helping me know God better, it needs to be thrown down, and thrown down hard! We can control our thinking and choose to have our minds obey and follow Christ.

Here’s some excerpts from a helpful devotional by Zoe Elmore of Proverbs31.org from August 30th of this year:

“Entertaining Thoughts” (click the devotional title to be linked to the full devotional)

“What about you, do you entertain lies from your enemy, Satan? Do you entertain thoughts of comparison and insecurity?”

“God tells us over and over again that He thinks we are beautiful; but not just on the outside. Look closely at the truths contained in Ephesians 1:3-6, ‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance w ith his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.’ (NIV)”

“Friend, critical thoughts filled with comparison and insecurity are not from your heavenly Father who has chosen you and loved you. When Satan whispers his lies, let’s quickly respond, ‘That is a lie and I reject that thought. I will only entertain thoughts of God’s truth.'”

By The Tree – Beautiful One Lyrics

By The Tree – Beautiful One Lyrics

Wonderful, So Wonderful
Is your unfailing love
Your cross has spoken mercy over me
No eye has seen no ear has heard
No heart can fully know
How glorious, how beautiful you are

Beautiful One I love
Beautiful One I adore
Beautiful One my soul must sing

Powerful so powerful
Your glory fills the skies
Your mighty works displayed for all to see
The beauty of your majesty awakes my heart to sing
How marvelous how wonderful you are

You opened my eyes to your wonders anew
You captured my heart with this love
Because nothing on earth is as beautiful as you

Another Note on God and Beauty from Katie W. Gerdt

Continued from her previous notes found here.

“Which brings me to the next point:
contentment.

“I love beautiful things.
But that gives me no license to covet the things that others have,
or be put out over things I can’t afford
(or spend more than is wise to get them!)

“Let me put it this way–
my focus should be on enjoying things,
not getting things.

“Enjoying the beauty that God
allows me to experience.

“Enjoying His good gifts,
whether the simple, tangy tasty of a fresh apple on a crisp fall day,
or
the extravagant beauty of food and sights on a Mediterranean cruise!

“So in appreciating beauty,
I do not become a snob, wanting nicer and more expensive things,
rather
I become more and more thankful and aware of the beautiful things
that my loving Father provides for me to enjoy.”

Notes from Katie Wuthrich Gerdt: Reflections on God, Beauty, Etc.

Katie is a dear friend and fellow believer at my church. She is a sweet example to me of God’s lovingkindness and beauty, always smiling and genuinely caring for those around her. Here are some notes she recently posted about what she’s learning. I couldn’t have put it better.

May 12, AM: “I Like Cool Stuff”

“Rich and savory food.
Beautifully tailored garments.
Sumptuous fabrics.
Sleek electronics.
Dazzling vistas.
Exotic flowers.
Gorgeous architecture.

“Beauty in every tangible form makes my heart leap.

“But for the past several years I have struggled with reconciling this love with another:
A love for the work of God’s kingdom.

“Does purchasing a good quality cardigan belie my affection for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering in poverty?
I know my love of beauty is the image of God upon my being, but can it coexist with an awareness of life’s transience?

“Recently I have been praying for the Lord to increase my understanding in this area.
To give me wisdom and distill my affections until what is left is a shimmering reflection of my God.

“One thing He is teaching me:
People who know Him are generous.
People who don’t know Him are covetous.

“That means, if I know Him, I won’t be primarily concerned about surrounding myself with beauty.

“I will desire to share my resources with others around me
more than I will desire to have the latest techno-gadget for myself.
I will be eaten up with concern for the needs of those in my local assembly
instead of eaten up by a desire to buy everything I want.

“But this isn’t the only thing I’m learning.
This is a multi-layered concept that my heart is grappling with.

“So stay tune.
More to come.”

May 12, PM:

“Another things God is teaching me:
He designed me to love beauty. To love beautiful things.

“Yes, He really did.
God is the original creator.
I don’t think you can look at the amazing universe around us and call God a conservative or restrained designer.
Colors! Textures! Varieties! Flavors! Shapes! Scents!

“Even in a sin-scarred world we stand in awe of His endless, extravagant creativity.

“And we are made in His image,
meaning to some He endows the skills and understanding to create in a similar manner.

“So, the fact that beautiful things (whether God or man made) pull at my heart and attract my attention
is not an indication of my “worldliness”.
It is an indication of being made in God’s image.

“God loves and makes beauty.
The same impulse in my heart reflects the imprint of the divine.”

May 13, PM:

“So, if God is a God of beauty, that brings me to another point:
We should grow in our understanding of beauty.

“This means educating ourselves and others to recognize and appreciate beauty…
in all its forms!

“Writing, music, fashion, food, art, theater….
These all find their source in God,
and the more we understand about them, the more accurately we can worship Him!

“So, it is good to learn.

“To appreciate well written literature and poetry,
rather than digest a constant fare of fluffy pop novels.

“To enjoy brilliantly constructed music,
even from other cultures and time periods.

“To understand what clothes are appropriate and flattering,
instead of just whatever is popular or cheapest.

“To cultivate a taste for nutritious and flavorful foods,
and ditch the habits of eating “as fast as possible” or “as much as possible”.

“To take in thoughtful art and meaningful drama,
rather than absorbing whatever is on TV at the moment.

“Just like we strive for accuracy in historical records or
wise use of finances,
we should learn to discern and enjoy what is truly beautiful.
What truly reflects Who our God is.”

May 16, AM:

“If beauty originates from God,
then not only should we appreciate it,
we should strive for it.

“My wonderful mother did much to instill in me
the simple ways of beauty:

“A clean and tastefully decorated home.
Fresh, nutritious, colorful home-cooking.
Modest yet flattering clothing, always appropriate (never too ahead of or behind the times).
Museum trips and concerts.
Beautiful flowers in the garden and on the table.
Thoughtful, lovingly written notes.
Reading the classics.
A contagious love for new and beautiful places.

“Mom taught me the important truth that
beauty is more common than we think.

“She taught me to look for it everywhere…
in used book stores and flower nurseries,
in the waves and sky at the beach (whether winter or summer),
in antique lace and old houses,
in a bowl of fresh fruit,
a walk in the park,
clean sheets,
clean self…

“And this awareness always produces contentment through thankfulness
over all the little ways
God’s beauty is seen and known.”