A Beauty and a Beast

Yesterday I had the title to an old cartoon movie come into my mind. It is called “Beauty and the Beast.” There is a famous actress named Angela Lansbury who just recently died and she is known for her role in that cartoon movie and for the song that she sang by that title. And this has been showing up in my feed on Facebook and on YouTube (both of them internet sites), so it is not unusual that I would have that title in my head. But then it came back to mind this morning, and so I am sensing this has something to do with what the Lord is going to have me write about today.

1 John 3:4-10 ESV

“Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”

Beauty and the Beast

So, I decided that I should look up the words “beauty” and “beast” in the dictionary to see what they rendered. Merriam-Webster dictionary gave these definitions:

Beauty – “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit; aesthetics, attractiveness, looks, sightliness.”

Beast – “a lower animal as distinguished from a human being; a contemptible person; something formidably difficult to control or deal with; devil, evildoer, fiend, meanie, monster, no-good, scoundrel, villain.”

And in the cartoon movie, the beauty and the beast are in a romantic relationship with each other, as best as I recall. And so as I think about both of these definitions, especially in relationship to this passage of Scripture, what I am seeing is a contemptible person with lower animal instincts who is an evildoer and a scoundrel who is attracted to and drawn to what gives pleasure to his senses. He is in a marriage relationship, so to speak, with what gives pleasure to his senses, with what makes him feel good emotionally and/or which stimulates him sensually and/or sexually.

Deliberate and Habitual Sin

Now, what this passage of Scripture is talking about is definitely related to “beauty and the beast,” in the context of these specific definitions. For this is talking about those who are addicted to sin. But more specifically the Lord is having me focus my attention here on those who are evildoers and scoundrels who willfully, and deliberately, and premeditatedly make it their practice, not only to sin, but to sin in ways which stimulate their senses and which bring them physical and sensual pleasure, often in ways hurtful to other humans. This is someone who is addicted to sensual pleasure.

This is someone who is being led by his flesh and not by the Spirit, who is carnal and fleshly in nature and not spiritual (of the Spirit of God), although he (or she) may profess to be of God. This is someone who is more drawn to the physical than to the spiritual, and who is more attracted to what is sexual and erotic than having anything at all to do with what is godly, holy, righteous, upright, morally pure, honest and faithful. Although he may claim Christ as Lord and Savior, he is still of the flesh, still giving his worship to the flesh and not to God. And so he is someone who willfully hurts others.

Those who live in this way who are married are often those who habitually are engaged in some type of sexual sin and so they are ones who live in perpetual adultery against their spouses. The adultery may be physical or it may be merely in their minds and hearts. For adultery is any kind of sexual and/or romantic activity outside the confines of marriage. So it can be merely lusting in one’s own mind over someone else, or it can include self-gratification and/or the viewing of pornographic or sensual material. Or it can entail flirtations with others or extra-marital affairs, etc.

And the sad reality is that this describes many men and some women (maybe more women than I realize) who profess faith in Jesus Christ, and who claim heaven as their eternal destiny, but who are not, in truth, married to Christ, for they are still “married” to their own flesh. Sin is what they practice, not righteousness. And in addition to adultery they are also liars (comes with the territory) and users and abusers and manipulators and those who play mind games and tricks on their spouses, and so they are also spousal abusers. But their sensual pleasures override everything else.

So, we need to understand here that we can’t be saved from our sins and have the hope of eternal life with God if we are still living for sinful pleasures, no matter what those sins may be. Now I am not talking of sinless perfection here. The Scriptures do not indicate that we must never sin or we are goners (see 1 John 2:1-2), but they do teach consistently that if sin is our habit, our addiction, that we do not have the hope of eternal life with God regardless of what faith we may profess with our lips. For we are not saved from our sins via lip service only. We have to obey the Lord.

So, if you are one who is still engaged in deliberate and habitual sin, no matter what that sin is, and so you make it your practice to deliberately sin against the Lord and against other humans, even against your spouses, please pay close attention to what John taught here. And please know that John was not the only one who said such things. Jesus and Paul definitely taught the same thing over again. So don’t be deceived. If you live in habitual sin, and if righteousness, godliness, and moral purity are not what you practice, then unless you change, you will not have eternal life.

But you know, this isn’t just about whether or not you go to heaven when you die, though that is certainly a big deal. This is about you living a life of futility and selfishness and a life of abuse towards others who you are supposed to love and protect. It is about you living a life that is hopeless and meaningless and that is all about you and your sensual pleasures regardless of who gets hurt in the process. And this often includes a false persona outwardly of who you are in order to impress others while you are grossly sinning against your spouses and against God continually and repetitively.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

And for those who are on the receiving end of such abuse from spouses who are addicted to their sensual pleasures, and who are married to their addiction and not to you, in truth, please find your hope and your healing in Jesus Christ. Let Jesus Christ fill you with his love, and follow him wherever he leads you. Keep loving and keep forgiving your addicted spouses, unless God leads you to leave, but don’t coddle them in their sins and don’t facilitate them in their sins, either. Set boundaries for yourselves and speak the truth in love, for true forgiveness says, “Go and sin no more.”

‘Til The Storm Passes By

By Thomas Mosie Lister

In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face
While the storm howls above me, and there’s no hiding place
‘Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry
Keep me safe till the storm passes by

Many times Satan whispered
There is no use to try
For there’s no end of sorrow, there’s no hope by and by
But I know Thou art with me, and tomorrow I’ll rise
Where the storms never darken the skies

Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand
Keep me safe till the storm passes by

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2 thoughts on “A Beauty and a Beast

  1. The Beauty and the Beast movie is more about accepting someone as they are instead of trying to change them. The two do fall in love, but Beast loves Beauty even before she loves him because she hasn’t seen the “real” prince behind his ugly facade. It reminds me that Jesus loved us long before we knew Him and He drew us to Him by His love and the power of His Word.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I know. This writing was not intended to be a take-off from the movie. Since this was the passage of Scripture the Lord gave me I knew that I was to go by the definitions of the words and not according to the plot of the movie. I did pray over it much, asking the Lord what he wanted me to take away from what I believe he had planted in my mind, which was just the title. But what you share here is true and that is the beauty of what Jesus did for us in dying on the cross for our sins, except I don’t believe that Jesus would ever be represented as a beast, especially in light of the definition of beast, and in light of the teachings on the beast in the book of Revelation. So all those factors had to be considered here, too. But, again, thank you for that insight. I always appreciate your comments. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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