I know it's been a few days since I've written anything. To all my faithful readers, I apologize. Life has been a little bit crazy lately. Wait.... when has life every NOT been crazy? Ummm.... probably never :). So, in the midst of work, recitals, exams, sickness, family, travelling, piano practice, church, meetings, eating, and sleeping, finding time to blog is the least of my worries!
My last couple of posts were kind of vents. I must confess, I've been feeling a little spiritually bogged down the last couple of weeks. You know how it goes. You're getting very little out of your Bible reading. You pray and pray and pray, and it seems like God is getting farther and farther away, and your prayers are never answered. Then you read crazy stuff on the internet about Christians doing things that just aren't Christian. It can get discouraging. We all get discouraged. That's why we need each other. Fellowship encourages us to stay faithful. Knowing someone else is in the battle with you makes it so much easier to fight.
So, the other day I was reading an article online, and it was talking about beauty. The writer mentioned how the world's standard of beauty and God's standard of beauty are completely different. He said beauty is not subjective. In other words beauty IS NOT "in the eye of the beholder." Instead, he said God is beautiful, God created beauty, and we must measure beauty by God's standard. It was so interesting, and it really made me think.
Who doesn't like beautiful things? We all love beauty. A sunset. The fall colours. A classical symphony. That perfect pair of shoes. People spend thousands of dollars trying to make themselves look and feel beautiful. Beautiful things are GOOD. God is good. We all want to be beautiful and have beautiful things. We decorate our houses, buy fancy cars, get new clothes, add colour, style, and creativity. The world CRAVES beauty, but the world's idea of beauty is skewed. That's because they are always judging beauty through a lens of sin. Sin is NOT beautiful.
But, God is perfect. He is without sin. He is PERFECT beauty. The most beautiful thing we can think of is only a shadow to the beauty of God. Isn't that awesome? As Christians, we can achieve what is ultimately beautiful because we know God; the Creator of beauty. So, how do we know what God thinks is beautiful? We need to know God, know His character, know His likes and dislikes. The way I judge beauty is the same way God judges it, except His nature is not tarnished like mine, so when He judges beauty it's perfect. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 2:5). When we start to have HIS mind, we will begin to see beauty the way He sees it. We get HIS mind by transformation, and that means getting the world out. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind... (Rom. 12:2).
Thinking about being beautiful really helps my Christian living. Instead of Christianity being "don't to this" and "do that" because it's a rule, it becomes, "I do this because it's beautiful", and God LOVES beauty. He really does! For instance, we all know that swearing is sin, so I'm not going to swear, because I'm not allowed to sin as a Christian. I'm supposed to do what's right. I have to be better. But, what about coming at it from a different angle? I'm not going to swear because it's ugly. It sounds vulgar, uneducated, and the words are just not nice. They're not beautiful. I want to be beautiful, so I'm not going to swear, because it takes away from my beauty.
What if we judged every action of our lives by whether or not it's beautiful in God's eyes (remember man's idea of beauty is often different). Would God look at my clothes and see beauty? Is my language beautiful to God? Are the places I go beautiful to God? Are my attitudes beautiful to God? Is the way I treat other people beautiful to God? Is my music beautiful to God? Is my entertainment beautiful to God? Is the way I work at my job beautiful to God? And the list could go on.
God is not a slave driver. He doesn't want us in bondage. He doesn't want us to be miserable, suffering people. He wants us to have beauty in our lives. When I think about living for God this way it puts a smile on my face. It makes being a Christian joyful.
In case you are wondering what God thinks is beautiful, I'm going to quote a few verses. I would encourage you to read your Bible and look for all the beautiful things God has put there. Look at His character, and you will find out what His standard of beauty is!
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Psalm 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Psalm 50:2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.