2010-03-20 - Christian Beauty
James 1:17, Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.
There are many ways to look upon and think about what is beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but maybe not in the way the phrase is commonly used. It depends upon what we are looking to find. A believer who is healthy, growing, and useful is beautiful. I might even say that such a follower of Christ is to be looked upon and followed, as they follow Christ. God created beauty, and we are right to notice it. When we are talking about spiritual graces we are still talking about beauty that God has created. Every perfect gift is from above.
The Christian who is alive and full of the grace of God is beautiful. He/she might not at first be seen as a thing of beauty. We all know that zealous Christians can, depending on maturity, be annoying not all the time. However, if this Christian is watched over time, and they are growing in grace, if they are continuing in the love and service of the Lord, then you start to notice the beauty of their faith. You might begin to consider those things you first thought as faults, as character qualities that need to grow in yourself. Someone who is zealously striving for the things of Christ can be a thing of beauty, even if they come with a package of faults. We all have the same package, to some degree or another, because we are all projects of the Holy Spirit. The beauty of someone who is seeking to grow in grace is likely to grow on you. You might even find that you are challenged to do the same.
Another aspect of Christian beauty is that none of us are the same. It is said that no two snowflakes are ever the same. I am not sure I believe that, but I am sure I believe that no two Christians are ever the same. They take curious shapes and sizes, and I dont mean their bodies, but rather their faith. Some are more outgoing, while others are more introspective. Both can be full of life. Thankfully there is no unified form to be sought for, but conformity to Jesus. In the individual believer, that can look wildly different. Over here we have one follower of Christ who is always cheerful. Over there, we have another who tends to more quiet or subtle, and who we might not readily describe as jolly. God did not intend for the one to become like the other. We are to be like Jesus, and not like someone else. We are trying/striving to be like Jesus, not so-and-so.
And that is the beauty of faith. It takes so many forms. I dont know which form is most pleasing to the Lord. Only He knows hearts. Growing in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ looks different in each of us. The central thing is not for us to try to be like each other, but for us to be like Jesus. A Christian can be growing in the likeness of Christ, and look very different than another Christian who is also becoming more like Jesus. Both are beautiful in Gods eyes, and they should both be beautiful in our eyes, also.
Soli Deo Gloria,