BEAUTY OF THE GOSPEL GIVES ME COURAGE EVEN WHEN I FEEL UGLY
The gospel is the good news of God’s saving love for us in Christ. It is the message and truth that God, who dwells in unapproachable light and is infinitely holy, loves us and has reconciled us to Himself in Jesus. We were opposed to God and estranged from Him, but He came to us in love and saves us even when we were estranged from Him (Rom 5:8). He gives us eternal life freely as a gift to all who receive it (Eph 2:8-9) and makes believers a new creation with good and wonderful works to do (Eph 2:10).
While we who are Christians believe this to be true, good, and BEAUTIFUL, sometimes the beauties of this world lead us to feel UGLY in the here and now with no worth or standing or voice to speak to the world around us. We meet someone with better clothes, a better house, a better body, a better job, and get intimidated and feel UGLY and quiet. We wonder how we could ever relate or ever match up or be heard. We wonder how we could ever be friends with them or invite them to consider the beautiful and wonderful news of the gospel. So, for many who get stuck in this rut, the tendency is to shrink down and be quiet, even though we know we’ve been called to ambassadors of the gospel, God pleading through our words to a world that individuals be reconciled to Himself through Christ (2 Cor 5:18-21).
I think this struggle is normal for us who are Christians, especially for those live in BEAUTIFUL places like Naperville. We easily forget the glorious and beautiful and true nature of the gospel and can get intimidated or bowled over by the world’s beauties, cowed into silence by our perceived weaknesses and ugliness.
It seems that the answer is not trying hard to justify ourselves or someone how finally meeting the world’s standards—no matter how beautiful or successful or wealthy we become, there will ALWAYS be some better. Rather, I think the key is this: remembering the gospel is BEAUTIFUL. The gospel is BEAUTIFUL because it tells us of the grace and love and justice and wisdom of God. It is BEAUTIFUL beyond words. And it is has all the BEAUTY we need. We who have become Christians have experienced the beauty of God transforming and healing and shaping us. We have experienced the beauty of a restored relationship with God and much healing in our relationships with others.
The Gospel is BEAUTIFUL enough. And remembering the beauty of the gospel I believe gives us COURAGE even when we FEEL UGLY or pathetic or weak. The world thirsts for BEAUTY and seeks it in all the wrong places and ways. As Christians we freely offer others to enter into and experience the BEAUTY of a God who is making all things new. This gives us COURAGE to witness and do works, even we feel UGLY.