Start the Conversation:
The Miss America Pageant has announced that it will no longer judge the contestants by outward appearance but by what’s on the inside – shifting the focus from bodies to “what comes out of their mouth” and what’s in their “soul.” For women, particularly, beauty is a goal— something we spend time, effort and money attempting to find – and certainly preserve. Social media platforms are built on the desire to see and share visually beautiful images. But how can the beauty of a soul be judged?
Beauty, like goodness and truth, is a contested category. In much the same way that many have exchanged the truth about God for lies, and confuse good for evil and evil for good; so too there is a deep confusion about what is genuinely beautiful.
There is something deep within us that is intrinsically drawn to beauty. Theologically, that intrinsic human desire is called our aesthetic appetite. And while philosophers may try to convince us that beauty is defined by the each of us, the reality is beauty is one of the three transcendental virtues toward which we are drawn because of the very nature of God Himself.
Keep the Conversation Going:
How do you define beauty?
When’s the last time you saw or felt something and thought, that’s beautiful?
What is the pinnacle of soul beauty?
The particular confusion over beauty is one of surface vs depth and subjective vs objective.
Beauty is not so much a matter of taste as a matter of truth.
The human heart is wired to long for beauty, and that longing can only be found when we understand and respond to that which is truly beautiful.
As you consider the beauty of God’s creation and confront the confusion in our culture about who and what is beautiful, be encouraged! Part of our calling is to make the Gospel visible and beautiful to others.