Truth, Goodness, and Beauty

But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. I Timothy 6:8, NIV

“The closer men came to perfecting for themselves a paradise, the more impatient they became with it, and with themselves as well. They made a garden of pleasure, and became progressively more miserable with it as it grew in richness and power and beauty; for then, perhaps, it was easier to see something was missing in the garden, some tree or shrub that would not grow. When the world was in darkness and wretchedness, it could believe in perfection and yearn for it. But when the world became bright with reason and riches, it began to sense the narrowness of the needle’s eye, and that rankled for a world no longer willing to believe or yearn.” Walter M. Miller Jr.

History moves in cycles.

Civilization moves from darkness to light.

Under good conditions, food grows, people survive, subsist, succeed. Communities grow.

Such a life brings a hunger for knowledge. With faith, comes a pursuit of truth and goodness. Truth and goodness propel us to beauty.

Knowledge with truth and goodness also lead to prosperity, which leads to pleasure, which we confuse with happiness. Happiness brings satisfaction. Pleasure provides only a desire for more, a distorted yearning for something else, something next.

Constantly seeking happiness, we pursue pleasure and perceive we’ve found it in ease. But knowledge, truth, goodness, and beauty are all hard. They demand our sweat and toil.

We prefer ease. So we trade truth for ease, and in that swap, we lose the yearning to find beauty.

History moves in cycles.

Civilization moves from light to darkness.

Only His light gives us the right yearnings.

Only through truth do we find beauty.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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18 Replies to “Truth, Goodness, and Beauty”

  1. Wow, your post is so rich and thoughtful and full of truth. I have never thought about seeking happiness in this way before but you are so right. It is a cycle that does not end well for those who do not find Christ in their search. Thank you for this perspective Nancy. Very insightful

  2. What a thoughtful post, Nancy! I love your delineation between pleasure and happiness. One brings contentment, the other leaves us always wanting something more. We know Christ alone fulfills all of our deepest desires and highest pursuits. Thank you!

  3. Oh, how the words of John 1:5 were screaming out to me as I was reading this truth-filled post Ms. Nancy. Indeed, light and dark are cyclical. It’s reflected in the way God created our world. We can move from dark to light and find great joy in the dawning of each new day. However, we can easily move from light to darkness, often without even realizing that darkness has already taken root within us. Loved this post my wisdom-filled friend.

  4. I enjoyed your thoughts and opening quote. “The closer men came to perfecting for themselves a paradise, the more impatient they became with it, and with themselves as well. They made a garden of pleasure, and became progressively more miserable with it as it grew in richness and power and beauty; for then, perhaps, it was easier to see something was missing in the garden, some tree or shrub that would not grow.” Boy, I have experienced that. Even in writing, Sometimes I continue to critique instead of appreciate the message is recorded.

  5. WOW – I really needed to read this today:
    History moves in cycles.

    Civilization moves from light to darkness.

    Only His light gives us the right yearnings.

    Only through truth do we find beauty.

    (That last line especially resonates.) Thank you!

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