I often mention beauty on my blog because it means more to me than what your eyes can see. True beauty is an outward expression of an inward state of being. Beauty is born of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. These are the fruits, the evidences, of the Holy Spirit’s work in a human soul. When I think of beauty I almost always end up equating it specifically with love. That tends to be because it seems to me that most actions, words, and behaviors tend to spring up most beautifully out of a heart full of love.
1 Corinthians 13 starts by saying,
The Way of Love
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
No matter how knowledgeable or astonishing my speaking ability may be, if I do not love, then all my words are empty prattle.
And if I have impressive power to predict the future, understand deep mysteries of our world, carry unending knowledge, and have all the faith possible but I don’t love then I’m nobody, I’m nothing.
If I am generous with everything that I have and sacrifice myself as a way to prove my worthiness, but do not do it out of love, I gain nothing because I’ve made it all about myself and no one will care if I do it for fame or renown.
All the time, I read how important it is to be yourself when you blog, when you write, when you live, because people can spot a fake. I believe that. I think it’s true. Most people can intuitively spot when someone else is just pretending to care. We shouldn’t live in the fake or pretend, though. It’s not beautiful. It’s self-serving.
Love it beauty at its finest. Your Love is real and you give of love because it puts someone else ahead of you. If your love’s motive is to shine a spot-light on yourself then you may as well turn it off because you’ll only highlight the ugliness that lurks there.
When all the impressive things you do and say pass away, when all your knowledge dies away, nothing will remain, except love. Make love your legacy, not the things you do, but love. Let love be your goal. All those words, all those impressive bits of knowledge and wisdom, all the faith and generosity will be lasting when they spring from love instead of from an underlying desire for selfish fame. Why will they last? Because Love Never Ends.
Jesus Christ died for you and me. He is God incarnate. He was born of a virgin, lived a perfect and holy life (something no man/woman/child has ever done), spent every day of his time in ministry doing what he came to do: glorify the Father (God) by sharing truth and loving people, and when he was hung on that cross two thousand years ago, he was beaten, bled and died for you and me. His sacrifice was born out of his love for us. It was ugly, what he suffered on our behalf, but he is so beautiful to me. His love is perfect. Mine is not, but my heart will forever be grateful for what he’s done for me.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
This is Jesus, the epitome of beauty. And as I reflect on what this particular holiday, Easter, means I remember that yes, he died, but he rose from the dead and lives forever. He paid the price I could not pay and he did it out of love for God and love for man.
This is who I wish to reflect, to follow, to trust. This remembrance of Resurrection Sunday that we celebrate today means so much more than what any other holiday means to mankind. Because now Emmanuel, God with Us, has been revealed, has loved like no man on earth, and has offered us a free gift we do no deserve. That is powerful love. What a beautiful day!