A key thing I was taught by a favorite art history teacher when I attended college at Ohio State is that inner beauty is what’s really behind true creativity and it only exists when the artist feels real love for people and the God-created things of the earth—love that develops in the person sensitivity, consideration, patience, the ability to notice and watch details of life that escape others, etc.

 

An artist can exhibit perfect technique as a painter, musician, singer, poet, writer, etc., but without this inner beauty their talent has considerably less significance, even as much as it might obtain “success.”

 

The pay off in developing inner beauty is a highly coveted simplicity and abandonment of resistance and fear and the desire to impress others and have their approval.

 

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We know from the Bible that God created in Lucifer a gifted musician and song leader of the angelic realm who was “perfect in beauty,” but he turned out not to have inner beauty as he was “lifted up by pride” and became narcissistic.

 

In a recent Sunday school study examining Lucifer and his fall, my preacher Alex Kurz reasoned, “Can God create a being that does nothing but glorify Him? He didn’t do that. He creates a creature (Lucifer) who is the sum of beauty and wisdom and the creature says, ‘Man, I deserve a whole lot more!’

 

“You see, the Lord God Almighty risked the fall of Satan, of Lucifer, of Adam. He risked all of that by creating creatures with independent free will. It should have been the natural response of creation to glorify God for all that He’s given. If you look at what God did for Lucifer, could he have done anything else?!

 

“You look at what God did for Adam—could He have done anything more?! And the response was self-gratification, self-adoration, self-exaltation. So this is the origins.

 

“The end of verse 15 in Ezekiel 28 says, ‘til iniquity was found in thee.’ Don’t ever let somebody say that ‘God did this.’ You’ve heard people say God created the devil and the Fall and God created Adam to fall. All that is baloney! NO, NO, NO! Iniquity, rebellion, disobedience, dissatisfaction, ingratitude—you know where it originates. God doesn’t take responsibility for an improper response exercised by Lucifer when the guy had it all!”

 

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Kurz continues, “Here it is in Verse 17: ‘Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.’ What this creature did, instead of utilizing the capacities God gave him to naturally respond with overwhelming, super-abounding gratitude—identifying the One who was worthy of his love—he looked in the mirror and said, ‘I deserve more.’

 

“You know what this guy thought he deserved? Isaiah 14 says it: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
[13] For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
[14] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
[15] Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.’

 

“Remember, sinful humanity is nothing more than a reflection of what motivated this creature. Again, God is not responsible! Lucifer says, ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north.’

“This is what happens! Iniquity was found in him. He was lifted up by the brightness of his own beauty and there is no submissive appreciation for the goodness and grace of a God who equipped him for that.

 

“Instead, he devised a plan that set out to exercise equality with the Creator. Paul in Romans 1 talks about how they ‘changed the truth into lie and served the creature more than the Creator.’ It’s that self-adoration, self-gratification, self-exaltation.”

 

Paul advises in Romans 12 that a person be “transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” and “not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” He ends the chapter with,
“Be not wise in your own conceits.”