Theology Thursday: Finding Beauty in All of Life

by Amanda Jenkins, Faculty

family finding beauty together

God Is Beauty

Beauty is understood as an attribute of God. The Lord is beauty, and He gives image-bearers the capacity to perceive beauty as well as reflect the artistry. The key to beauty, particularly perceivable to Christians, is God Himself. All beauty in the created world is from Him.

Anything in life that we know to be beautiful: a sunset, a relationship, the ocean swelling or the redwood forest is an echo of God’s beauty embedded in His creation. These beautiful gifts are given so that as creatures we can catch stunning echos of our creator within His creation.

Beauty in the World Is an Echo of the Creator

We experience aesthetics in the world as an echo of the creator. These beautiful signposts are meant to point us toward God himself. God is the ultimate beauty that attracts rather than repels, and therefore His beauty leads us to worship Him as we are enraptured in his splendor.

When we elevate beauties outside of God, we begin to idolize. Mountain summits, the human form, roses and any other beautiful thing illustrates the magnificence of their creator. When we only focus on the form that was created as opposed to considering the Creator, we place the weight of glory on a created thing that is not to be worshiped or adored the way that the Creator is.

C.S. Lewis writes in “The Weight of Glory” how this looks in our practical life. He says,

“The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”1

Lewis highlights that beautiful things “are not the thing itself.” Beauty and goodness in the world are evidence of the creativity and goodness of the creator.

Practical Implications

So how do we find beauty in all of life? How do we incorporate ideas of beauty into our pattern for intentional flourishing? We do so by seeing beauty as gifts and evidences of God in our world as opposed to searching for beauty that ends in itself.

Roses wilt, redwoods tumble, sunsets fade but God remains. We find beauty in all of life by seeking God as the end, rejoicing every time He gives good gifts that attract us to His beauty and goodness.

Let’s end with a word from the Psalmist who tells us that we are beautiful parts of creation when we worship God and perceive of him rightly.

Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth. Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns; The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously. (Psalms 96:9-10, NKJV)

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Retrieved from:

1 C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory in October, 2021

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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