Have you ever watched a judged contest?
Perhaps you sat in unbelief as a Fox Terrier won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show but you preferred the clean-cut, athletic looking Labrador Retriever with the friendly eyes. Maybe you sat in unbelief as Miss New York was chosen over Miss Virginia for Miss America 2015. Do you remember the controversy over the 1972 Olympic basketball contest? The Soviets beat the Americans in the last three hotly contested seconds of play. International rules and the call of the referees led to a Soviet win. Incredulous, the protesting American team refused to accept the silver medals they were awarded.
In each of these cases, judges or referees determined the winner by applying standards to the contestants. Most often there are a group of judges as no one person can be trusted to judge perfectly. Although they try to remain objective, each has personal subjective preferences. We all do. In other cases, judges were bribed and knowingly chose the less perfect contestant, mandating multiple judges to deter corruption.
When you look at yourself and your life what do you see? How do you measure up to your standards? How about the standards around you?
Many people see themselves as less-thans or could-have-beens as they consider their life choices. I could have gone to college, worked harder to be promoted, or stayed home to raise my family. Each comment is spoken with regret over the choices they made or did not make.
When you look at yourself critically, do you see a flabby stomach, acne, wrinkles or too large or too small body parts? When we look to standards, whether our own, our families, or societies, we often find that we fall short. We look at ourselves and sense the letter “L” (for loser) branded on our forehead. We feel guilty. We feel ashamed at our lack. Some become angry. Others try harder and still others give up.
If we were to draw a self-portrait it might look a bit cubist with an arm here an eye there and a mouth…over there. We don’t see beauty. We don’t see perfection.
But there is hope! The Bible says that we are God’s masterpiece. What if that funky looking “you” is a masterpiece? Is that possible? Is it possible that we are blind to our beauty? He actually sees you as a most awesome, beloved, cherished masterpiece.
“For 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 2:10 NLV.
Most translations of Ephesians 2:10 say we are His “handiwork” or “creation,” but the Greek word used in the original language is poiema, which carries within it the concept of the beauty in the thing created beyond its function. We are His masterpiece! He created each and every one of us. None of us are an accident or are flawed. No two of us are identical. The God of the universe determined the color of your eyes, the sound of your laugh, and your interests.
The Bible says, speaking of God in Psalm 139:13-28 (AMP), “For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery]. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them. How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they would be more in number than the sand.” Can this be true? Is there one capable of judging perfectly? Yes, God!
God is the judge of all the earth. He sits on a throne whose foundation is righteousness and justice. In Him there is no injustice, partiality or bribery. He judges the world in righteousness and governs the peoples with justice.
God is the perfect judge. He knows the hearts and minds of men. He does not look at behavior or appearance but looks at the heart. He is faithful in all He does. He made you, hair, eye, and skin color. He knows you. He approves. His thoughts about you are many and each one good. You are His masterpiece and He cherishes you, His beloved.
Beside this, for those that walk as new creations, possessing the life of Christ within, God says that you are completely accepted, holy, righteous, pure, undefiled, completely forgiven, His child, precious, unconditionally loved, never alone or forsaken, Jesus’s friend, blessed with every spiritual blessing, and a victorious overcomer…to name a few. Now that’s a masterpiece and that masterpiece is you.
Genesis 18:25, 1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Chronicles 28:9, 2 Chronicles 19:7, Psalm 9:4, Psalm 33:4, Psalm 89:14, Isaiah 43:4, John 1:12, John 15:9, Romans 8:10, Romans 8:27, Romans 8:37, Romans 15:7, Colossians 2:13-14, Ephesians 1:3-4, Ephesians 2:10, Hebrews 13:5b