What are you good at?

Go ahead! Take your time. Think about it. Write a few. I’ll wait right here.

Did you write some? If so, Great! Let’s move on. If you didn’t. Stop reading… Seriously! Write what you are good at. Yes, it’s that important.

Look at what you wrote. Consider whether they are creative. Draw a box around the ones you consider Creative and title the box ‘Creative’. Draw a box around the ones you consider Not Creative and title the box ‘Not Creative’.

What’s your paper look like now? Do you see yourself as more creative? Less Creative? Not creative at all?

The box

What you just did is what I think many do – myself included. We have a box inside our heads and we put ourselves in either a creative box or a not creative box, based on what we are good at. For instance, someone who is artistic (drawing, painting, playing an instrument, singing, sewing, etc) will put themselves in the box labeled ‘Creative’.

But someone who builds, constructs, is academically strong, solves problems, skilled with their hands, and fixes what’s broken, will probably put themselves into the box labeled ‘Not Creative’.

I box myself in. You box yourself in. And we don’t see ourselves as being creative because we label what we are good at as not creative. But why? I think mostly because it doesn’t fit the profile. It’s not artistic. It doesn’t fit the box inside our minds.

Yet a creative God created us. Just stop for a moment and consider how indescribable and creative God is in creating – the world, our bodies, space, the many galaxies. It’s all creative. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems if a creative God created us, then we are creative by default. Right?

I wonder if it’s how we view ourselves. We see creativity around us. We see creativity in others. But we don’t see it in ourselves. We view ourselves as ho hum – nothing special. I’m not talking about being humble. We are to be humble. But not to where we miss something crucial.

We are God’s masterpiece – which means we need to change our view – shift our perspective – and begin looking at us as God looks at us.

In other words, don’t look at you through your eyes. Look at you through His!

The masterpiece

 If you’ve ever been in my office, you know the amount of artwork that’s all over my walls. I have so many drawings, paintings, and macaroni glued designs from when my girls were younger. Each one is a masterpiece to me. They are no Mona Lisa. But I wouldn’t trade any of them for a hundred Mona Lisa’s.

Why? Because they are my children’s artwork. And I know they did their best on them. They expressed their love to me when they made them and gave them to me.

And you and I are God’s children. Created not by accident, but on purpose, with purpose. Meaning you and I have things that we are good at that are creative and when we do those things that we are good at with the intention of expressing our love for our Heavenly Father…Well, I’d say we make Him feel loved!

But we have to see them that way. We have to stop boxing ourselves in and boxing God in. We are all creative when we allow God to use what we are good at to express our love for Him and for others.

We have to see ourselves as God’s masterpiece.

Paul was a really smart guy…and a good writer

He wrote a good portion of what we call today the New Testament. Most of what Paul wrote was in the form of letters or epistles to churches he was involved in starting. Many of these letters were dealing with church issues. But in his letter to the church in Ephesus, there weren’t really any specific issues Paul was addressing.

He was more writing to them to encourage them in being the church, what it looked like to build the church, and how it all fits into God’s plan for the church.

For clarity, the church here is not a building. It’s a gathering of people for a specific purpose – and that purpose being the worship of God, edifying each other, and building each other up.

It’s the church that Jesus described in response to Peter when Jesus said, “I will build My church and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Matthew 16:18.

It’s you and I. It was Paul. And Paul saw himself (and us as well) as God’s masterpiece.

Eph. 2:10 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.

The breakdown

First, the obvious… we are God’s masterpiece. Other translations say handiwork or workmanship. The point is, we are God’s work of outstanding quality and marvelous artistry.

That doesn’t sound ho hum to me!

And the masterpiece bursts forth when we fulfill the second half of that verse, doing the good things. God will never force himself on us. He doesn’t make us use what we are good at and He won’t change us without us being involved in the change. Doing so would override our free will.

No, God nudges us, gives us passions and promptings, through the Holy Spirit. And it’s our responsibility to respond obediently! When we do we build the church.

Yup! You read that right.

Think about it. When our view of ourselves is God’s masterpiece, we can creatively do what we are good at with the purpose of expressing love for God and love for others. Hmm…That sounds like a command of Jesus. Also found in Matthew. (Hint, check in the 22nd chapter)

I can’t think of a better way to build the church than expressing God’s great love to others through what we are good at.

Get outta the box. There is no box. You are creative. You are a masterpiece.

The application

Don’t look at you through your eyes. Look at you through His!

How do you do this? The short answer is continuously… every day of our lives.

It is a continuous choice to believe that you are His masterpiece. It is being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus! (Phil. 1:6). His perfecting you happens through your obedience to Him. It happens when He seeks to make a change in your life that further shapes you into the image of His Son. And it happens when you respond obediently to Him and use what you are good at, creatively, to express love for Him and love for others.

It is not looking at you through your eyes. It is looking at you through His!

So… let me ask you… what are you good at?