Study Guide: Remembering the Forgotten Beauty

Sunday October 22, 2006 | Dwayne Polk

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

When we look are our hectic lives, we can sense the pain and despair that we often feel...but we never stop to think about what has really caused the problem of our shattered beauty. One important problem is that we have forgotten beauty related to the Center of the Kingdom, the Lord Jesus Christ. God wants us to create “spaces for God” so that we can experience the matchless beauty of Jesus in our daily lives, and then, see our own beauty!

Extended Summary:

We spend a lot of our lives in hectic, anxiety-producing situations. We may be just trying to provide food and clothing for our loved ones and ourselves. We may be trying to achieve something for ourselves to give ourselves a better life. Whatever the reason, the outcome is the same. We fall into a form of anxiety-created memory loss…where we begin to forget who we truly are. We forget the unimaginable beauty that exists within us. But the question becomes: why would we think that we have such beauty in the first place?
In the book of Genesis, we discover that all human beings have been created in the image and likeness of God. This means that all human beings have some essential similarity to God, such that we are like God in some real ways.

It’s important for us to understand this point: Once we understand that God is beautiful, we know that there are implications for us. If we are created in the image of the Beautiful God…then that means that WE are beautiful as well! One of the hardest things for us to understand is that we are much more that we have allowed ourselves to become! We were never meant to be slaves to alarm clocks, paychecks, and stress. We were meant to live in love, freedom, and power as we bring more and more beauty and reconciliation into the world! We have fallen into a state of despair where we have forgotten this beauty.

How do we recover it? We have to “be still” in our spirits and get to know God by spending time with Jesus. We have to be willing to have silence with God where we shut off all of the noise of the world…and we can listen clearly to God. We also have to have solitude with God where we get alone with God. In other words, we have to create “spaces” for God so that we can get in contact with the Spirit of Christ. The more time that we spend being with God, the more that we will relearn our own beauty!

Here are three possible, easy things that can be done in order to create more space for God during our days.

1) Sanctifying your happiness to God.
This is basically when you are reflective upon something that you REALLY like to do (bowling, watching TV, etc)…and you take an intentional pause and say “Lord, thank you for my ability to enjoy the beauty of ______.” And you do that as often as you wish…for as many things as you enjoy for the day.

2) Asking Jesus to show you beauty.
Because of the nature of our mobile, always-traveling society, we spend a lot of time in TRANSIT. Whether walking, riding, or driving, we are always going and going. While we are in transit, we can turn off the radio and just calmly talk to Jesus saying “Jesus, please show me your beauty right now.” And focus on what comes to you. You may not “hear” anything…but use that time of silence to really reflect on your life in the moment.

3) Writing “love letters” to God.
When you are in relationship with someone, it’s great sometimes to just drop them a line. For this, you can get either a piece of paper or Post-It-Note and begin writing short love letters to God that you can put up in view. Please remember that love letters aren’t always rosy. Sometimes, you may express some really intense or hurt feelings to God. That’s great! The main point is to express yourself and your relationship honestly to God.

Reflection Questions:

  1. When is the last time that you forgot something very important to you? What happened as a result? How did you feel as a result?
  2. Think about your life. What kinds of things do you do to make sure that you remember things that you don’t want to forget?
  3. When you attempt to think of yourself as “beautiful”, what thoughts go through your mind? When you attempt to think of all human beings as “beautiful”, what thoughts go through your mind?
  4. What are some experiences that you have that convey the belief that you are not beautiful? What are some experiences that you have that convey the belief that other people are not beautiful?
  5. Which of the 3 practical options given to help create “God-space” do you believe would be most helpful to you? Why?