Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What Makes Something Beautiful?

Awhile ago, as I was pondering the subject of beauty, an obvious question came to mind: What makes something beautiful? What is it about an object, person, scene, character quality, etc. that causes pleasure to our senses? What is it about these things that brings feelings of wonder, joy, and admiration?

How do we classify some things as beautiful, and others as ugly? What is the difference?

Suddenly, the thought came to me: Beauty is a reflection of God, and ugliness of sin.

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork." Psalm 19:1

Think about it: In creation, we see flowers that we call "beautiful"--they are (nearly) as God created them.

However, when they die or become diseased or mutated,

they lose their beauty. Death and disease are both results of sin.

"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned." Romans 5:12

"Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now." Romans 8:21-22

Sin perverts God's perfect design, resulting in what we call "ugliness".

Or, speaking about people, what are the things that make a face beautiful (besides the hopefully obvious "having a cheerful countenance")? Rosy cheeks, bright eyes, clear skin, and so forth: and these are all products of health; (or, in the case of some females, are simulated by make up... :P) which is, again, closer to the original way God created us.

So, the closer things are to God and His created perfection, the more beautiful they are!

With character, it is much the same: having "inner beauty" is when your character is closer to God's; when your actions and words reflect His love, patience, mercy, justice, and so on.

Things like deceit, cruelty, untrustworthiness, and so forth are opposites of God's character: therefore, they are (or ought to be) ugly and repulsive to us.

The closer someone's character is to God's, the more beautiful it is.

Beauty is, in essence, a reflection of God. Beauty shows us God's creativeness in designing these beautiful things, His love for us in making things for us to enjoy, His attention to detail, His perfection, (holiness) and also His justice, mercy, kindness, and so forth.

What is exactly is the definition of beauty again?

Something that brings joy, that is pleasant to the senses; that causes a feeling of awe or wonder. It also sometimes refers to something working together properly, such as a machine. (That is my definition... for the official, Websters 1828 definition, go here.)

P.S. I started writing this post exactly one year ago today. :D At least I am finally getting it up! There will eventually (hopefully sooner than a year from now) be a part two as well, with some practical implications of this idea. Thanks to Jay for his help with fractalling! (I know what it means now!!)


  1. Huzzah! Congratulations. :)

    Great post by the way. ;)

  2. Thank you, thank you. *bows*

    Oh yes, isn't it? hehe. :D

  3. Very insightful. I'm posting, BTW, because of your gmail stat. :D

  4. Very well stated. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Thank you Abby! You're welcome. :) I'm glad I finally got it up... :P

  6. Great post. I'm digging the new layout, by the way.

  7. Thank you! Good, glad you like it. :) I'm glad to see you around again, I was wondering where you'd gone. :)

  8. Beautiful beautiful beautiful! Thank you for writing this all down. And thank you for permitting me to use it as a guest post. :) You're most wonderful adorabler amazing.

  9. You are welcome, most adorable of twin sisters. And you are also welcome again for that. Thank you for being interested in my humble thoughts and stuff enough to want to post them on your blog. No, you are. :P

  10. I concur with Andrea. On the adorableness stuff, I mean.

    But, yes, this was a beatiful and excellent post. Thank you! And the new theme is even better! Yay!

  11. I... see... thank you. I think. Same thing goes for you. All the stuff Andrea said.

    Thank you, you're welcome. Oh goody!! Glad you like it. :D

  12. Hi Carissa,

    This is one of the best explanations of what true beauty is that I have read in a long while! You did a great job and I love your photos.

    I have an idea for your themes on this blog. I know you like orange and Fall colors go really well with that...what about the idea of finding themes for the different seasons that highlight orange for that season. I don't know if that makes sense. I am just thinking with your photography skills and artistic bent that it might be fun for you to do. :)

    With joy and peace in Christ,
    Mrs. Mama Lauser

    PS We are almost done with getting your package ready to mail. :) :) :)

  13. Hi Mrs. Mama Lauser!

    Really? Thank you very much! :)

    I like that idea! That way it will be still changing, but it will also have some continuity. I will have to try and figure out a way to do that! :)

    Joyfully in Christ,

    PS YAY!!! :D