Monday, September 19, 2005

Art Appreciation

When I was younger, I didn't have too much interest in art. I was never good at drawing and even when I colored I could never stay in the lines (I still can't). I also never truly understood how simple markings, which were no greater than the scribbles I was capable of, were considered art by adults with so-called "better understanding". I figured that maybe it was true; maybe I needed to grow in order to appreciate art more. As it turned out, the more I grew, the more appreciative of art I became. I began to realize that the art pieces weren't always about what was being displayed, but the emotion and meaning behind them.

If you think about it, all good things on this earth have been created by God! You, me, the trees, animals, the skies... everything! But sometimes I believe we don't show the amount of respect for the art that God has created as we should! We may believe that God created everything, but do we truly appreciate it? Do we look at it and yell out in disgust? Or can we honestly say that we appreciate the amazing work that only God could have done?

Imagine yourself in a museum. Every person around you is looking at all of the beautiful art around you, but you are completely disgusted with it. You look at everyone you come in contact with and tell them that the art looks horrible and is completely useless. Imagine now that you had the chance to meet the creator of the art on display. You walk up to this person and tell them that their art is horrible and is completely useless. How rude is that!? How would you feel if you were the person who created the art and some random person tells you that your work is not good enough and worthless!

Many times though, we do the exact same thing to God! He is always around us, listening and watching what we do, yet many times we'll throw a sarcastic comment towards someone else and then laugh as they turn red from embarrassment. What's worse is we usually do this around other people so that we can feel better about ourselves at their expense!

The Bible says in Genesis 1:26-27 that we are made in the image of God! Why then do we throw sarcastic remarks at others and make fun of one another if God is the One who created us? Would you say such a thing to His face? Of course not! But sometimes we do just that! Ephesians 4:2-7 tells us that we should always be humble, gentle, and patient with each other. It even tells us to "make allowance for each other's faults". We must come together with love rather than segregate ourselves by harsh words and sarcasm!

In Ephesians 4:29-31, Paul writes:

Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, He is the One who has identified you as His own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior.
When we are rude to someone else, or we don't include someone because of how they look, act or talk, we are ultimately telling God that we are not appreciative of His art and that we think it is horrible and worthless! The truth is, we are all equally important to God; He loves us more than we can image! If God loves each and every one of us, then why do we put each other down?

Just how I was unable to comprehend why simple scribbles were considered art, many times the feelings that we experience, or the people we know, may not necessarily make sense to us. We may have a hard time figuring out why God put someone or something in our lives, or why we feel the way we do at different times in our lives, but just as I grew to understand that art is not always about what is on the outside, rather more about the emotion and meaning behind them, so can you grow in your relationship with Christ and begin to understand the meaning of all of God's creations.

Do you find yourself constantly making fun of other people? Do you seem to always have a negative attitude that causes you to lash out at others? Pray to God and ask Him to help you with accepting others and appreciating all that you see. Remind yourself of the beauty of the "small" things (e.g., the sun, stars, flowers, skies) and thank Him for them. You will find that the more you thank God for the "small" things, the more value you will put on the greater things, like fellow humans and our Creator! We should all strive to be appreciative of God's art; after all, we are God's art too!

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