The Subtle Impact of Witnessing Beauty
Even before we had access to video and picture equipment at all times—via smartphone—there was one event that occurred in our lives that we made sure to pack our cameras for—vacation. If the family was taking a week away from their normal routine, fueling up the minivan, and hitting the road to some far away destination, we made sure we had our cameras slung around our necks.
I’m old enough to remember when we had to wait to see the pictures we took. Flipping through 4x6 images required that, upon returning home, we unloaded the roll of film, dropped it off at a store, and then waited a week for them to develop it (only to realize we have twenty pictures of our thumb). Sounds crazy in the age of digital technology. Nevertheless, we eagerly awaited picking up the pictures we had snapped. I guess in part to see how they turned out. But, more importantly, so we could share them.
Look At This
We love sharing pictures. Coming back from a vacation, we pull our friends and family together so we can show them the pictures we took. We subject others to picture after picture of scenery as they half-heartedly mumble, “Uh-huh. Looks pretty.” But have you ever considered why we love to do this? Why do we love to share pictures of the places we visit and the objects we see?
I believe our desire to do such a thing is embedded deep in our humanity. This action comes as a result of being human and being created in the image of God.
When we witness or experience beauty, one of our deepest longings is to then share that beauty with others.
It’s why we share vacation pictures, recommend songs, and insist that others see such and such a film. If we find beauty in something and truly treasure our interaction with it, we are driven to share the object we find beautiful with others. We almost can’t stop ourselves from doing so.
This idea is especially true of the gospel. When we see and experience the beauty of what Jesus did for us, we are compelled to share it with others. Those who find themselves treasuring God are driven to help others treasure Him as well.
Take Another Look
So often believers view evangelism and sharing the gospel as a duty. And I’m not saying it isn’t—Jesus did command us to do it. But viewing it solely as a duty may prohibit us from being winsome in our approach when conversing with lost and broken people. Far too many times what drives our sharing of the gospel is guilt. We know we are supposed to so we do it to escape the remorse we may feel the next time the pastor mentions the subject. But there is a far better approach than that; a completely different way to view sharing your faith.
We Are Witnesses
As Christians, we have witnessed beauty. We have come face to face with the Creator. We have experienced his grace, mercy, and love. We have stood before Him in awe and have had moments in His presence that we did not want to depart from. And sharing the gospel is to simply share the beauty we ourselves have encountered with others. It’s an invitation to share in that same beauty alongside us.
There should be a certain amount of excitement involved in telling others about Jesus.
This is not saying that it will always be easy. It often takes sacrifice, boldness, and perseverance. We will tragically encounter hostility towards the gospel at times. But none of that should change our hearts towards evangelism. For there is excitement when we talk about what we find beautiful. And what is more beautiful than the gospel? Simply sharing the gospel, whether it is joyfully received or bitterly rejected, is to spread beauty in a broken world.
Some may struggle to share the gospel because they haven’t truly experienced the beauty of it. This is the result of trying to use the law to justify ourselves. And there is no beauty in self-righteousness. It takes a detour around the beauty of the gospel and causes us to focus on self. It may produce some degree of morality in our lives, but it does little to capture our hearts. And if our heart isn't captive to the beauty of Christ, we have little to share and offer others. We end up trying to convince others to be just like us and get upset when they don't want to be.
But there is beauty in grace.
There is beauty in a Savior who would give his very life to secure our salvation. And once you have experienced that beauty, it’s hard not to talk about it.
One of the biggest joys in experiencing beauty—whether it’s a sunset, the smile of your child, or a range of mountains—comes after we witness it. Talking about what we have experienced, and sharing it with others, adds to the initial joy we felt as we stood there. Honestly, something is not quite as beautiful as it could be if we experience it alone or have no one to share it with. Our joy is made complete in the sharing. So it is with the gospel. As Christians, a major factor in our capacity to experience joy is whether or not we share the gospel with others. Sharing Jesus increases our joy. To be silent is to limit our joy. So, look at Jesus and the cross until you see the beauty. Then don’t shut up about it.