We studied how God Defines Beauty in our LIFE groups this week. I am going to start uploading all of our lessons to Kingdom Living rather than just linking to our church website. Here is the pdf of How God Defines Beauty. I want to add to this the role of consumerism in forming our definition of beauty. Most of our ideas of what is beautiful comes from people who want to sell us something. The way to generate sales is to breed dissatisfaction so that the consumer feels a need for their product. There is no way to develop a healthy sense of beauty much less a healthy self image by surrounding yourself with messages that say you aren’t good enough unless you buy this, do that, etc. The good news of scripture is that you are valuable and beautiful no matter what anyone else has to say
Here is the text of the lesson.
Icebreaker: Where do most people get their definition of beauty?
We live in a “touched up” world. The Dove Campaign is beginning to show how much touch up work goes into the average photo you see on the newsstand, billboard, or internet. What you see is no longer what you get. We are surrounded by a made-up and make believe world that tells us beauty is basically unattainable unless you starve yourself. That is not how God views us. God sees us as beautiful because that is how he made everyone of us.
Gen 1:26, 31
With what two qualities did God make mankind?
· He made us in his image
· He said that what he had made was good.
Every culture is different in how they define beauty. Because different cultures say different things are beautiful we see that the way culture defines beauty is arbitrary. It is not arbitrary with God. God’s view is, If you exist, you are beautiful to him. Our culture defines beauty and then tries to sell the product that will help make you the way they defined it! That is crazy. You can never be happy or satisfied with that kind of standard. In Genesis God said what he made was good.
What does this scripture say about God’s involvement in creating us?
· God is hands on. God is actively engaged in his creation. God loves who and what he makes.
How does the psalmist respond to the idea that God created him this way?
· He responds with praise.
The world’s message of beauty is designed to create dissatisfaction with self and forms an ideal that is unattainable. Why would it be hard to praise God for creating you if you are dissatisfied with yourself?
· Because you wish you were not the person God created you to be.
· God created you with value, worth, and beauty because He chose to make you, you.
How many things has God made beautiful?
God says over and over again that he is head over heals for us! Revelation 2 even calls his church his bride who is being prepared for the great wedding day with Christ. He thinks we are beautiful. But not just on the outside. Society dwells on outward beauty because they do not realize what inward beauty can be. God thinks you are beautiful but not just because of how he made your outside. Even moreso God sees you as beautiful because of how he made you inside.
The Value of Inward Beauty
Outward beauty is not all there is to life. When we spend our time and money chasing that and not tending to our souls we have gotten our priorities out of line.
Proverbs 31:30 & 1 Samuel 16:6-7
The proverbs say there is something more lasting and substantial than outward beauty. God gave us a clearer picture of what that is when he selected David to be king. When the people selected a king they picked Saul because of his physical characteristics (he was head and shoulders above the rest). When God picked a king what was he looking at?
· The inner person—the heart, soul, and character.
People use all sorts of products to makeup the outward person. What can we do to really develop the quality of our inner self?
· Through relationship with God, trusting God, faith, Bible study, prayer…all the things that put us in touch with God and his people.
· Time invested in those things will never go to waste.
1 Peter 3:3-4
Beauty is not skin deep. As we already saw outward beauty fades. What type of beauty does Peter say never fades?
· Beauty that comes from a gentle and quiet spirit.
· God puts a great value on that.
God sees past all the outward adornment straight into our hearts.
Where have you gotten your cues of what makes you beautiful?
When you get ready for your day which gets more prep time the outside or the inside?
What does God see when he looks past all the makeup, all the nice clothes, and jewelry right into your soul?
God thinks you are beautiful through and through. God says we are valuable and that it more important than what anyone else in the whole world has to say about it.