“We think to determine three things: whether something is true, whether something should be done, and whether something commands our appreciation. In other words, we think to know truth, goodness, and beauty.” – Andrew Kern, founder of CiRCE Institute
This quote – especially those three words: truth, goodness, beauty – stopped my mindless social media scrolling.
I read that quote on Instagram the other day and have been thinking about it. My kids’ have outgrown their school shirts that have those same three words on them along with the New Covenant Christian Academy logo.
(Upon searching older pictures, I think the shirt I’m thinking about actually says “Truth. Beauty. Virtue.” But, you know, virtue and goodness are synonyms, so same thing.)
I knew this was a foundation of classical education, of which I’ve learned about since enrolling my daughter in this school 4 1/2 years ago, but I’ve been gaining a new perspective about how truth, goodness, and beauty fit into everyday life. These foundations of our faith prompt us to be aware of from where we’re gaining truth, how God is faithful and good even when our society cries out otherwise, and how there is so much beauty around us and in us that there’s so many reasons we should be praising God.
Truth, goodness, and beauty sound
old-fashioned, but they matter today.
I’m thrilled my kids learn about that at school. And I’m grateful God continues teaching me two decades into following Him.
Lately I’ve been thinking about what’s true as I parent, as I reflect on longtime and everyday friendships, as I strive to seek God in all things, as we step out in faith to begin a new small group to serve our local community. Sometimes I complain about the weather, or my kids’ behavior, or how long my husband takes to put away his clean laundry.
I get distracted by things that don’t matter,
but God’s goodness abounds right here.
I’ve been known to overthink things, replaying or anticipating conversations, reading between the lines that aren’t actually there, and planning reactions before they’re even necessary. I’m learning when I let my thoughts be captive and obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5) and think about whatever is true, noble, and lovely (Phil. 4:8), then I’m not left overthinking and dwelling on things of this world. Rather my focus is on what matters.
And that’s a beautiful thing rooted in truth and goodness.
After seeing that quote, I researched who said it and happened upon the article from which the quote comes. Regardless of whether classical education is part of your life, the whole article is worth reading.