The entertainment industry is struggling right now. Publishers of movies, TV shows, streaming shows, and video games are seeing dramatic drops in revenue. There have been thousands of layoffs in the Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and other places where things are created for our entertainment. There is a lot of debate about the causes. Some cite differences in consumer habits after the lockdown. Others point to a difficult national economic situation. Still others argue that writers and producers lost the focus on what people find entertaining.

Movies, TV shows, and video games have been increasingly pushing messages that go against God’s Truth, but that’s not really new. People still went to movies and watched TV. What’s different now?  It’s certainly true that things have gone entirely down the wrong path, but I don’t think that’s the whole problem.

I’d like to offer a different perspective: artists have forgotten about beauty. Rarely do movies show something wonderful that lifts us up. They want to make us see how broken and ugly the world is. It’s difficult even to find a nature documentary that doesn’t focus primarily on the “destruction of our planet.”  Heroes are passé. The majority of protagonists are “antiheroes.”  Victories are predictably pyrrhic, relationships are transactional, motives are selfish, betrayals are inevitable.

So, why should we care?  Because what goes into our eyes and ears feeds our souls. If our spiritual diet is bad, we become ill. We can’t live off of beer and snack cakes, though in moderation they can enrich our lives. Similarly, there is enough despair, rivalry and bitterness in the world that we don’t need to have it seek it out in our spare time.

Instead, as Paul writes in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” If you’re feeling spiritually ill, try changing your diet.

But there is more you can do. You can create beauty, which is a heavenly calling. The renaissance was marked by a tidal wave of beautiful paintings, sculptures, poems, and buildings. Most of these were created to honor God. They reflected biblical stories or characters or simply the beautiful world that God created.

Creating beautiful things is a heavenly endeavor. In Exodus 28, God commands Moses to find people to create things “for glory and beauty” (v.2) to serve in God’s temple. He tells Moses to “speak to all the skillful whom I have filled with the spirit of skill…” (v.3).

Has God filled you with a spirit of skill?  Then make things “for glory and beauty.”  We don’t have to rely on Hollywood for movies. We don’t have to rely on New York for TV series. Video games can be made outside of the Silicon Valley. People of God can and should be making beautiful things. Publishing can be done on Soundcloud, YouTube, SubStack, and Amazon. Create beautiful things and put them on Etsy or Amazon Marketplace. It doesn’t have to have an overtly Christian message because beauty is, itself, a reflection of our Creator.

Colossians 3:17 says, “whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  Maybe you won’t change the entire world, but you will change part of it. Who knows what God has in store for you when you glorify Him with your spirit of skill?

Prays Together is a rotating faith-based commentary and advice column among the pastors, and guest laypeople, of area churches. 

Start typing and press Enter to search