As I walked outside early this morning, I caught a brief glimpse of the sunrise. I’m not your typical post-every-sunrise-and-sunset-that’s-remotely-pretty-on-Instagram kind of person, but this looked special.
After I snapped this picture, I got to thinking about work. God’s work in the sky and man’s work happening right below it. Both important in their own ways. My pastor’s kid brain went into autopilot and recited Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
It floors me to think that when God created the universe, He declared it good, but when He created humanity, He declared it “very good.” In Ephesians, followers of Jesus are declared to be masterpieces. I pray I could see myself through God’s eyes, where somehow I am a more precious work of art than this sunrise.
I was tempted to filter this image. To click that little button above the image on Instagram that tweaks the picture to make it look better. I tried it for a moment, thought it did look sharper, colorful, better. Then I thought of something I had read in one of my husband’s theology textbooks. God’s goodness is defined such that all that God does is good. God’s beauty is defined such that all that He is reflects the traits of beauty.
We don’t define beauty. My judgment, as a broken human, is broken. I thought it looked better, but I don’t get to define what better is. If God created this sunrise then it is the definition of beautiful. There is no filter, no angle, no tweak that could make it more beautiful because God, the author and definition of beauty, has created it so.
And this God calls you His masterpiece. We might think we look better in Snapchat filters. Maybe we wish we had a smaller nose, clearer skin, different color eyes, but God calls us His masterpiece. He’s created us with intention, with purpose. There is nothing we could do to look better, because God has called us very good.
Almost every day in my classes, I hear at least one teenage girl call herself fat or correct someone who gives her a compliment. They talk about what they wish they looked like, what they would change about themselves, and if I’m not careful, I’m often guilty of the same things too. We are God’s masterpiece, His work of art that He has carefully crafted. He has defined beauty and goodness so we don’t get to correct Him and tell Him He messed up on us.
Finally, we can’t stay here forever. Yes, we need to pray to see ourselves (and others) through God’s eyes, but action is required. Man’s work happening just below God’s work, like the sunrise. Ephesians 2:10 says “…created in Christ Jesus to do good works,” not to sit around and meditate on how awesome we are. God meticulously planned to create each of us so that we would be equipped to change the world for Him. Do it.