All the wrong brushstrokes

“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 (NLT)

It isn’t the first word that comes to mind when describing ourselves. ‘Masterpiece’. I can think of plenty of words to describe myself, few of them kind, but never ‘masterpiece’.

I think that is a problem. And I know I am not the only one who has this problem. The truth is that we don’t think much of ourselves. We know ourselves better than anyone else — well, almost anyone… — and we can’t see past our struggles, failures, and shame.

And so we paint ourselves. ‘Dumb’. ‘Shallow’. ‘Unworthy’.

What we don’t realize is that we are painting over a masterpiece. To those who love art, would you dare to take up a brush to a Van Gogh? A Monet? A Rembrandt? Of course not. But we find no qualms painting atop the work of God.

Go. Stand in front of a mirror and just look. Look into your own eyes. But don’t look with your own eyes. Look with God’s eyes. And you will see that the strokes of disappointment, of negativity, of self-loathing, mar the masterpiece below them.

This masterpiece can be fixed though. We can never permanently destroy our painting-selves. For God can paint us once more, in brushes of beauty and joy and love.


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