Beauty in the World
Our world is teeming with beauty. Stand beside a mountain lake on a cool morning, and its majestic beauty may take your breath away. View the Sun’s corona during a solar eclipse and its beauty may make you cheer out loud. Witness a bride walking down the aisle, arm-in-arm with her father, and her beauty may make you cry.
Note: This article is part of a series on Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in Business. The other articles can be found here:
Beauty brings joy. It fills a person with wonder. It motivates one to act.
The business world usually views beauty simply as a marketing tool. Sex sells. Slap a picture of a beautiful woman on an ad, and watch it generate more revenue. But beauty goes far deeper than what appears in superficial ads. Beauty goes to the core of life, and to the core of Christian business.
Beauty is objective
According to the Bible, beauty is not just “in the eye of the beholder,” but is an objective reality. We know this because beauty is an attribute of God. He is beautiful (Ps 27.4), and He’s beautiful whether or not anyone else is around to behold Him.
We often see the beauty of God reflected in His creation. Certain people (Gen 29.17) and places (Psa 50.2) are beautiful. Certain things are beautiful (Ps 16.6).
We also see God’s beauty reflected in the works He performs. God makes all things beautiful in their time (Eccl. 3.11). The gospel is beautiful and makes those who preach it beautiful. (Rom 10.15).
God values beauty
Beauty is not just an extra bit of fluff added to what’s really important. It’s central to glorifying and enjoying God. It’s central to worship (Psa. 29.2 KJV).
When God commanded the tabernacle to be built, He put His Spirit, along with skills, wisdom, and understanding into certain craftsmen, so they would be put in charge of the work, so that it would be done well (Ex 31). These artistic designs were beautiful—glorious even—all giving glory to God.
The same thing happened at the building of Solomon’s temple (2Chr 2.7).
That God spared no expense for the beauty of His house, should be instructive to us. And why did God put so much emphasis on beauty? Because…
Beauty is powerful
Not only is beauty objective and valuable, but it’s also powerful. It tugs at our heart strings in a way that truth and goodness do not. We like goodness, and we appreciate truth, but we are inexorably drawn to beauty. There’s a reason 6 million visitors see the Mona Lisa every year. And how many righteous men have been lured away by a beautiful woman, who’s nothing but trouble (Prov 5.3-4)?
While it’s true that beauty separated from truth and goodness is empty and vain (Prov. 11.22; 31.30), beauty joined together with them reflects the nature and glory of God!
The power of beauty is that it brings joy, and it leads a person to worship. It compells a person to act. This power is ultimately given to point us to God. We are to find our joy in His beauty (Psa 16.11). We are to worship Him in His beauty (Psa 27.4). We are to live in a way that reflects His beauty (1Pet 3.4).
Since beauty is central to the world God made and to the core of who we are, beauty ought to be a central concern in Christian business as well.
Given that beauty is objective—that some things are truly beautiful and some are not—we should intentionally strive for beauty in all that we do. Our products and services should be beautiful. Our actions should be beautiful. Our outward appearance should be beautiful, reflecting the inward beauty of Christ in us.
Given that God values beauty, we can be confident that striving for beauty is a worthwhile endeavor, and worth the expense.
Given that beauty is powerful, we ought to use it responsibly. We ought not use beauty in a twisted way—to glorify falsehood, or to make evil appear attractive. i.e. We should use it in a way that is consistent with truth and goodness.
When beauty is united with truth and goodness in a business, that business glorifies God.