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We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.—Ephesians 2:101
The reason you have value is because of what God says about you, not because of what other people say about you.
Many people lack self-esteem. They don’t feel good about themselves because they’re always trying to pump themselves up by the kind of clothes they wear, the kind of car they drive, and the things they say. They’re always trying to pump themselves up to make them feel better about themselves because they really don’t accept themselves—which is rebellion against God.
If God wanted you to be somebody else, you wouldn’t exist. But he wanted you! He made you to be you. Real self-esteem comes from three facts:
- God created you.
- Jesus died for you.
- God’s Spirit lives in you.
The Bible says, “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”2 The New Testament was written originally in Greek. The Greek word for “masterpiece” is “poema.” It’s the word we get “poem” from. God says, “You’re my poem. You’re my masterpiece. I don’t want you copying somebody else. I’ve put gifts in you—heart, abilities, personality, and experiences—and I want you to use them.” You have worth because of what God says about you and has done for you.
You’re not just wanted; you’re needed! The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:4–6, “There are different spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. There are different ways of serving, and yet the same Lord is served. There are different types of work to do, but the same God produces every gift in every person.”3
You are needed. You’re needed in your church. You are needed in your community. You are needed in this world. If you weren’t needed, God would not have made you. He didn’t create you to just sit and soak and sour. He brought you here to make a contribution with your life. And everybody is needed.
There are no little people in the family of God. Every part is necessary. Do you know what the most important light is in my house? It’s not the big chandelier in the dining room. It’s the little dinky light I turn on every night so that when I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I don’t stub my toe.
Every role is important. You are important. You have value because God said so and because he paid such a large ransom for your life when he sent his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for you.—Rick Warren4
God’s unfinished business
On a rare day that I actually had a bit of time to do some organizing, I came to a realization about myself (not the most impressive one): I have a lot of “unfinished business,” at least with personal projects. I often wonder why so many of my personal projects or work is left undone. Why does it seem difficult to complete even one? And why do I operate this way?
Is it procrastination? Busyness? Lack of organization? Too many pies up there in the sky? All of the above? What’s the solution to getting projects or other to-dos from “pending” in my brain to the complete version where they can actually make a difference?
In his book, The Weathering Grace of God, Ken Gire writes of the importance of “stillness.”
Poets know the importance of … stillness. They know that if they are still enough, long enough, the art they are working on will speak to them, tell them what it wants to be and what it needs from them to become it. All artists know this, whether they work with paint or clay, words or musical notes.
Michelangelo knew how to be still before the stone and listen to the David within it. Strauss knew how to be still before the Danube and listen to the waltz that was eddying about in its waters. Monet knew how to be still before the pond and listen to the lilies sunning on its surface. … Our culture knows little of this kind of listening.
The best ideas, and the completion of them, require not only time to do them, but also stillness and quietness of body, mind, and spirit. The Lord encourages us in the book of Psalms to “Be still and know that I am God.”5 The finishing work, whether of a small project or of life itself, requires stillness in mind and soul.
It’s easy to start something. It’s good to start something. Well begun is half done, they say. But to finish something—to see it through to the end—that’s not always easy.
It takes time. Patience. Faith. And those aren’t always easy to come by. We don’t always find them by looking within or looking around. But when we look up, and with peace and quiet of mind, listen to the still, small voice of God that whispers to us when we take time to listen, we will know the path to take. We will know how to complete what we have begun … and what He has begun in our lives.
We are all, in a way, God’s unfinished business. He has started a lot of “projects” that are well begun, even perfect in their own right, but they are not complete. The work of the Master on His creation continues: the molding, the shaping, the cutting, the polishing. It all comes with the promise, “He makes all things beautiful in His time.”6—Jewel Roque7
A perfect work of art
I was getting a haircut one day when the guy cutting my hair suddenly stopped and said, “Look at that!”
I looked over my shoulder, and there was one of the most stunning sunsets I had ever seen. Several people got up out of their chairs and walked outside to take a look. It was such an incredible sunset that people stood there in awe.
Of course, it is a reminder that “the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.”8 God is a great artist; there is no question about it.
But God’s greatest masterpiece isn’t some of the sunsets you may have had the privilege of seeing, or the Alps (as spectacular as they are), or the islands of Hawaii and Tahiti (as gorgeous and beautiful as they can be).
God’s greatest masterpiece of creation is you. And it is me. We are God’s greatest masterpieces.
In fact, we read in Ephesians 2:10 that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”9 That word workmanship could be translated as “we are His work of art.” We are His poem. Or as another translation puts it, we are God’s masterpiece. …
In addition to “workmanship” speaking of a poem or a work of art, it is a word that speaks of something that is perfect. It carries the idea of rhythm, orderliness, and beauty. When I look at my life, I don’t necessarily see rhythm, orderliness, or beauty. And I can guarantee that I don’t see perfection. When we see ourselves, we tend to see our flaws. We see so many things that need to change. But God says, “You are my work of art. You are my poem. You are my masterwork.”
God is not like a doting father who’s oblivious to his child’s faults. Rather, He is your all-knowing, yet all-powerful Father in heaven who can envision what you will be when it is all said and done. God can look at you and can see what you will become before you have actually become it.
We look at ourselves and say, “I don’t get it. This doesn’t look like a perfect person. This doesn’t look like a work of beauty.”
But you are a work in progress. It is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. It is going to take all of your life on earth. It won’t be completely finished until you get to heaven.
Then you will see that you indeed are a perfect work of art—God’s masterpiece.—Greg Laurie10
Published on Anchor June 2017. Read by Carol Andrews.
2 Ephesians 2:10 NLT.
5 Psalm 46:10.
6 Ecclesiastes 3:11.
7 Adapted from a Just1Thing podcast, a Christian character-building resource for young people.
8 Psalm 19:1 NKJV.
- Living in God’s Word
- God’s Healing Balm in Times of Grief
- Hurry and Worry
- One Thing Before All Things
- Faith Like Gold
- Learning About God’s Mercy
- Trusting Through the Silence
- A Life Well Lived, Today and for the Future
- How God Gave Me a Home
- Setting Our Affections on Things Above