When Beauty Blinds

Just because you’ve cried in a worship song doesn’t mean you have repented. The emotional rush you get when you see the beauty of nature doesn’t equal repentance either. Ty Simmons says it better:

Here is my confession: I assuage my guilt with beauty. In my struggles with sin, in my struggles with addictions, in my struggles with inclinations of the heart, I have sought out beauty alone to make me feel better. Beauty whispers words into my ear of a greater story and I feel renewed. I do not continue down the narrow path because the beautiful sentence I have just read has atoned for my sin or the music I’ve been listening to brought me to tears. And in all of this, repentance goes undone.

Now some might say I’m establishing a false dichotomy, that Christ can speak through beauty and not in spite of beauty. I will not disagree. But the point I’m trying to make is that appreciation of aesthetics is not repentance. A wonderfully written song may bring about this rush of emotions but if I am not changed by it, I have not experienced God. And that is exactly the burden I place on beauty. I long for beauty to save me and she continually proves an impotent savior.