You are a masterpiece.
For we are God’s masterpiece, – Ephesian 2:10 NLT
A few years ago, I heard a message that really highlighted this verse and what it means. It’s tough to take what a Pastor says and let it change the way you think when the messages are 30 minutes or less and it focuses only on a part of a verse. However, I’ve personally always struggled with value and this message bounced around in my head for a long time. Out of all the I am affirmations, saying I am a masterpiece feels weird. I know that God has paid the ultimate price for me and I know He loves me, but if I’m honest, sometimes I need reassurance that I was made with a purpose in mind.
After that sermon, I wanted to dive in and find out what does the Bible has to say about me (and you) being a masterpiece.
Almost every translation of this verse uses the word “workmanship.” It’s pretty easy to see why anyone might have glossed over this verse. I’m God’s workmanship reads like, “I’m a fantastic chair or object. ” I might be great but nothing that God is proud of, or at least nothing unique. Why then do only a few translations use the word masterpiece? This is one reason why it’s worth looking into verses. If the verse whispers to you, then spend some time there trying to understand it.
The original Greek used the word poema, the root word for poem. If you’ve ever had to write a poem you likely remember how intentional you had to be. Syllables, rhyming, rhythm, and flow, a poem is one big artistic calculation. Today if you write a poem it’s being typed into a document that lives on the cloud. Every help is available at your fingertips. Thesaurus, dictionary, and grammar helpers all there making suggestions and allowing you to craft something truly better than it could be without that help. However, when this verse was written, it was a time of intense artistry. Every letter hand stroked by the author knowing that one mistake could ruin the entire creation.
You were planned
God says you were planned with the intentionality of a loving poem, a masterpiece. Masterpieces have to be planned. Imagine if one day you just followed every whim you had in your mind. While it might be fun to imagine, I can’t imagine any masterpiece coming from such a haphazard approach. Creativity is essential, but so is having a clear plan. Psalm says that he crafted us in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). God tells Jeremiah in verse 1:5, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.” You are not a mistake, God planned for you. He has a clear purpose for your life. God has a very specific plan for you but instead of telling you all about it, He wants you to discover it with Him. He’s inviting all of us on an adventure to uncover the story of why He created us.
You are a new creation
It might be difficult to call yourself a masterpiece when you think about your life and your own accomplishments. We might view our life through a lens from the past, but God doesn’t do that. When we accepted Him, we got a new life… we were born again. This phrase isn’t just to identify weird Christians. As a born-again Christian, I am a new creation. I might have scars from my past but I am not defined by my past and neither are you. Instead, God uses those scars to multiply what He wants to do through you.
You are perfect
Like any great work of art, you are perfect. No great artwork looks for ways to appear more beautiful or to improve itself. It just is. When you accepted the new life of Christ you became this perfect creation. This statement isn’t giving you permission to do whatever you want, I’m not saying you don’t have room for growth. Instead, because you are perfect you now have abilities that you didn’t have before. You can now ACT perfectly, whereas before you could not. That doesn’t mean you’ll always act perfectly but that you have this ability. The great news is that God has already forgiven us for our past and our future.
Every time I struggle with this, I think about how I feel about my kids. Every new parent thinks their babies are perfect. Their children have done nothing to earn this praise and can do nothing to improve this view. Parents see their children as masterpieces. Imagine then, how God in His infinite love sees us!
Takeaway: You were planned intentionally. You are perfect in God’s eyes. There is nothing you can do to change His love for you.