THE HEART OF BEAUTY

Please find below my teaching notes for Pt. 4 of the series, Movies: Life Lessons from the Big Screen.  For personal use only.  all other uses contact info@gccnetwork.org.  (c) 2012, Terry Broadwater.

Most of us know the story of Snow White- it’s a classic.  In the movie version, “Snow White and the Huntsman”, the storyline is: Snow White is the princess of Tabor, daughter of King Magnus and Queen Eleanor. After his wife’s death, King Magnus marries the beautiful Ravenna after rescuing her from the Dark Army, an invading force of glass soldiers. Ravenna — who is in fact a powerful sorceress and the Dark Army’s master — kills Magnus on their wedding night after noting that men like him exploit the beauty of women and discard them. As Ravenna seizes control of the kingdom, Duke Hammond escapes the Castle with his son William, but is unable to rescue Snow White who is captured by Ravenna’s brother Finn. Snow White is then locked away in a tower of the Castle.

Tabor is left in ruins under Ravenna’s rule as she periodically drains the youth from young women in order to maintain a spell once cast by her mother which allows her to keep her beauty. When Snow White comes of age, Ravenna learns from her Magic Mirror that Snow White is destined to destroy her unless Ravenna consumes the young girl’s heart which will make her immortal. Ravenna orders Finn to bring her Snow White but she escapes into the Dark Forest, where Ravenna has no power. Eric the Huntsman, a widower who has survived the Dark Forest, is brought to Ravenna who orders him to lead Finn in pursuit of Snow White. In exchange she promises to revive his deceased wife, Sarah. Duke Hammond learns that Snow White is alive and has fled into the Dark Forest. William, Snow White’s childhood friend, later infiltrates Finn’s band as a bowman to find her.

The Huntsman tracks down Snow White in the Dark Forest but refuses to hand her over until he knows Ravenna will keep her word. Finn admits that Ravenna cannot resurrect the dead. The Huntsman then helps Snow White to escape, promising to escort her to Duke Hammond’s castle in exchange for a reward of gold. The two leave the Dark Forest and pass through a fishing village where all the women have disfigured themselves in order to escape Ravenna, and where he learns Snow White’s true identity. He then leaves her in the care of the women but returns when he sees the village being attacked by Finn’s men. Snow White and the Huntsman eventually come upon a band of dwarves, formed by Beith, Muir, Quert, Coll, Duir, Gort, Nion, and Gus. Muir discovers Snow White’s identity as the only person who can defeat Ravenna and end her reign.

As they travel through a faerie sanctuary, the group is attacked by Finn’s men, resulting in Gus’s death. The Huntsman kills Finn after learning he abetted in the murder of his wife. William reveals himself and helps defeat the soldiers before joining the others in their journey to Hammond’s castle.

Ravenna disguises herself as William and tempts Snow White into eating a poisoned apple, but is forced to flee when the Huntsman and William discover her. William kisses the now comatose Snow White without seeing that a single tear has fallen. Her corpse is taken to Hammond’s castle. As she lies in repose, the Huntsman professes his regret for not saving Snow White who reminds him of his wife and kisses her, breaking the spell as she awakens after a second tear had fallen. Snow White then takes command of the Duke’s army and leads them into battle against Ravenna.

The Dwarves infiltrate Tabor through the sewers and open the gates which allows the Duke’s army to invade the castle. Snow White confronts Ravenna, but is overpowered. Ravenna is prepared to kill Snow White and consume her heart when Snow White stabs her in the heart instead, causing Ravenna to wither and die. Hammond’s army is victorious. Snow White is crowned Queen as the kingdom is restored.

Beauty- it’s power, the quest for it, and our definition of it is the theme of this movie.

The bottom line?  Beauty is a heart issue- it’s an inward purity and goodness that reflects outwardly!

Now, this is NOT just a message for women!  Because biblically, beauty isn’t about the outward appearance (some of you can now say, “Thank God!”)- its about what’s on the inside, what’s in your heart.  The Bible says, “God looks on the heart…”

1 Sam. 16:7 “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart!”

1 Peter 3:3-4 “Don’t be concerned with the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes.  You should clothe yourself instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentile and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”

What do we learn from these verses?  1) We know what men look at, and 2) Women shouldn’t go to the salon or the mall!  Seriously, that’s not what God is trying to tell us here!  Of course, when C. M. Ward, a famous evangelist of 50 years ago was asked if women should wear makeup or not, he replied, “If a barn needs painting, paint it!”

As far as God is concerned, beauty is an inside out thing!  These verses imply the question, “What if we put as much detail and attention into having a pure spirit and right heart as we do into “fancy hairstyles, jewelry, and clothes”??  According to Vanity Fair, women spend 17 billion yearly on cosmetics and 10 billion is spent yearly on cosmetic surgery.  According to a recent research study: men spend most of their money trying to impress women!

Ravenna was consumed with the outward beauty and as a result her heart was evil, rotten, and ugly!  Snow White, although outwardly beautiful, had purity of heart and soul!  So, how do we get to the “heart of beauty” and have a beautiful heart?

YOUR HEART IS THE CORE OF YOUR BEING- WHO YOU REALLY ARE!

Greek: “cardia”- core being, seat of emotions, feelings, thoughts.  You hear trainers talk about having a strong or sound “core” for people who work out, etc.  We spend so much time and money making the outside beautiful, which is important for health, etc., but we forget about our true core- making the inside beautiful!

God is most concerned with the character and condition of your heart.  That’s why he doesn’t “look at the outward appearance, but at your heart!”  That’s where God sees who you really are- what you think, feel, etc.

How horrible was it that a gunman could walk into a movie theater and kill 12 people!!  On the “outside” James Holmes was a decent looking guy, smart, enrolled in a phd program; but inside he was ugly, tormented, his heart, his core being was full of all kinds of ugliness!

Prov. 27:19 “As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.”

Ravenna, in Snow White, may be beautiful on the outside, but on the inside she is a very ugly person!  It’s not what’s on the outside that determines your beauty- it’s what’s on the inside!

SADLY, OUR CULTURE FOCUSES ONLY ON OUTWARD BEAUTY!

The skin-deep superficiality of Hollywood’s ideal for beauty… You can’t go through a check-out line or watch TV without being overwhelmed by what the culture defines as being beautiful!  Again, we spend billions trying to reverse the aging process!

Here’s me 20 years from now —————————————————————————-> 

2 Cor. 4:16 “Therefore, we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

We don’t like to hear this or experience this, but the outward man and woman is “wasting away”- we’re all in the process of decay and dying, and no matter how hard we fight it or try to cover it up or get all the beauty makeovers, we can’t keep it from happening!  Not to say you can’t be a cute “old person!”

But the Bible says the inside, or our heart, never has to get old- it can be renewed day after day!  Our core being, our heart, can always be beautiful.  Because “beauty is IN the eye of the beholder- GOD!”  And God deems you beautiful when your heart is filled with his righteousness!

Jesus said in Luke 6:45 “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.  What you say flows from what is in your heart.”

Snow White’s mother’s lesson on beauty was that Snow White always retain a virtuous and honorable, good heart, versus Ravenna’s mother’s lesson which cursed her so that she had to consume the beauty of others to retain an outward beauty for herself!  The Bible, God doesn’t put the emphasis on the outward appearance, but on what’s in your heart!

THE KEYS TO HAVING A BEAUTIFUL HEART!

Reject all lies about yourself, others, and God.  Again, let’s be honest, the culture, people, certainly the devil, and we are guilty ourselves about what makes a person beautiful.  We believe the lie that it’s what’s on the outside that makes us beautiful!  And who is the ultimate judge of what defines being beautiful?  The culture?  God is!  Should we take care of ourselves (next series)? Sure, but we should be more consumed with what is pleasing to the Lord.

Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord…”  May my core being, who I really am, my heart, be beautiful to God!

Fill your heart with truth- God’s Word.  You want to fill your heart with God’s Word for one simple, yet powerful reason: God will never lie to you!  His Word will always help you to have the right and beautiful heart!

Heb. 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any two-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Let joy not jealousy fill your heart.  In Snow White, Ravenna is consumed with jealousy!  She is so jealous of Snow White that she sets out to kill her, but in the end, her jealousy is what destroys Ravenna!

Prov. 14:30 “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.”

You can’t allow jealousy to enter your heart!  It will devour and destroy you.  Jealousy makes you ugly!  Prov. 27:4 “Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous!”  Jealousy…the feelings of hostility and resentment against someone because of that person’s rivalry, success, advantages or what you consider makes them “beautiful”…the feelings of resentment and envy because someone else is in a position, a certain situation, and/or simply has a life you wish to be in and have.  Jealousy…NOT a GOOD look!  People who are jealous and secretly fume with envy, show this ugliness all over their countenance.  As their hearts are boiling with this unhealthy disposition, their facial expressions “don’t lie” and their pores reek with the foul scent of enviousness… This “green-eyed monster” is a far cry from a BEAUTIFUL look…It’s a BAD look and it can make a beautiful person, UGLY!!!

Instead of jealousy, be joyful because of how beautiful God made you!  Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made!”

Decide and define who and what makes you feel beautiful.  Where and from whom do you want to get your definition of what makes a person beautiful?  The world, the culture, Hollywood??

You need to decide that God is the One who defines your beauty.  Prov. 31:30 although speaking about the “virtuous woman” applies to all of us- “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman (or man) who fears the Lord will be greatly praised!”

“Fearing” God doesn’t at all mean you are terrorized by him!  On the contrary, it means you revere and respect him.  That reverence and respect is best realized when you accept just how beautiful he has made you- the possibilities you have in Christ, the potential to reflect his character, compassion, his beauty!

Prov. 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

1 Sam. 16:7 “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart!”

The question: “So what does my heart look like?”  Does God see beauty there?

A beautiful heart isn’t a perfect heart.  It’s a heart that has been broken a time or two, a heart that has a few scars from emotional pain, a heart that has pieces of it that’s been given away to others, a heart that has been challenged, but has kept beating despite the odds.  A beautiful heart is not covered over by cosmetics, it is your real, honest, raw emotional, YOU!

And deep inside YOU, at the core of your being, in your HEART, God sees how beautiful you were created to be!

So today, don’t let jealousy, or the cultural pressure, or lies, or sin corrupt your heart!  Don’t be consumed, like Ravenna with only the outward appearance- in the end, that’s what makes you ugly and what will destroy you!

PRAY: “God, I want a beautiful heart…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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