Friday, February 18, 2011

A Masterpiece

I write often about self image.  I do that because I have struggled with my own self image for as long as I can remember, and it's always at the back of my mind.  It's like a nagging little whisper in my head telling me that no matter what I do or how hard I try, I will never measure up.  Oh, how I would love to silence that voice!  I'm afraid, however, that I will just have to settle with learning to tune it out.  Hey, I can tune out the excited squeals of four hyper-active kids, so one irritating little voice shouldn't be that difficult, right?  (Can you hear the sarcasm dripping off that question?)

I suspect that I am not the only person around here who struggles with their self image.  In fact, I would guess that most of you have had at least one time in your life when you felt like a complete outcast or failure.  (If not, consider yourself blessed!)  I'm wondering today: why is this so important?  Why is it so crucial to me that I grasp a better image of myself?  Why do I feel such a need to tell other people that the world is wrong, that they are worth more than they could ever imagine?  Here's my answer: because God didn't create us to be defeated.  He did not create us for self-loathing or self-pity.  He created us to be so very much more.


There are three images of myself that I want to grab hold of and never let go, and I hope you will do the same.  The first one is this: "So God created human beings in his own image.  In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." (Gen. 1:27, NLT)  We were created in the very image of God Himself.  There is no one better that we could be like. NO ONE.  We bear the image of Jehovah God, and we should wear it proudly.

Secondly: 1 Corinthians 6:19 says this: "Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?"  Now, I realize that I'm taking this verse a bit out of context; please forgive me for that.  But when I read, "your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit," what I hear is, "you house the very Spirit of God."  I think back on all that I've learned about the Temple, and realize that in its day it was a glorious and splendid thing!  It was magnificent, gorgeous by any standard.  In fact, its beauty was known throughout the land.  And according to Paul, I am the living, breathing version of that.  Which means I am gorgeous, and so are you.  Wow.  Think on that for a while!  Would God have chosen a run-down shack to be His dwelling place?  I don't think so!!

My third image has become very precious to me of late, and I think it sums up the other two.  It comes from the book of Ephesians, chapter two, verse ten.  It simply says this, "For you 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."  "For you are God's masterpiece."  My oldest son is an amazing artist for a ten-year-old.  Sketch art is his favorite media, and his raw talent is just astounding.  (At least to his mother.)  My three-year-old, on the other hand, prefers to scribble, and after just a few seconds with his crayon he is done with his creation and ready to move on to something more exciting than coloring.  He has certainly never come close to creating a masterpiece!  Even my eldest, as good as he is, is still not developed enough to create what I would consider a masterpiece.  When you compare his work to that of Monet or DaVinci or Renoir, you can see that he still has much learning left to do.  Here's the correlation: Too many times we walk around as if we're a crude, preschool scribbling when God created us to be His own MASTERPIECE.  We are not chalk drawings on a sidewalk or crayon scribbles on a coloring page.  We are exquisite, intricate, beautiful creations.  We are God's greatest accomplishment.  That just blows my mind and squeezes my heart.  

I feel that it is so important that we have an appropriate self-image.  If we cannot love ourselves, then we cannot love others.  If we cannot understand what wonderful creations we are, then we cannot look at other people and see that they, too, are God's masterpiece.  What a sad thing for God's amazing work to be wasted on people who hang their heads in defeat, believing the lies that the world whispers in our ears.  I know I've lived in defeat far too long already.  It's time to start listening to the voice of the One who speaks only the truth, and believing in who He created me to be: Angie Logan, Masterpiece of God.

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