Spend 10 minutes drawing a portrait of the person sitting opposite you in your group. Now you may not call yourself an artist, but give it your best shot. Try and capture those nuances that bring out their personality.
I am sure like me you have all used the phrase ‘it doesn’t matter what other people think of you’ probably trying to comfort someone who has been
on the end of some harsh words that have left them feeling excluded, hurt or sad. I think it is probably quite true to say that it does not matter what others think, but it is important to have an understanding of how God sees us and to reflect upon how we live within that light because God knows us more intimately than anyone else, even more than we know ourselves. He
is our Creator after all. So as Paul suggests let us take some time to make a sober assessment of ourselves.
God Loves You
Let us start off with a simple but profound truth – God Loves You. This is the overriding message of the Bible which has sometimes been called God’s love letter to mankind. It is important in seeing ourselves as God sees us to recognise that God loves us. Some of us may have been brought up with a picture of God as vengeful, angry, judgemental and legalistic, reflecting
the age when we were raised, which has skewed our understanding of how God sees us and in some cases leading to low self-esteem and guilt or seeking approval and overachieving. It is important to recognise a distinction between the truth that we are ‘unworthy of God’s love’ because it is a gift beyond compare, and the falsehood that ‘we are worthless’, they are two very different things. The overwhelming testimony of God’s word is:
As a parent I want the very best for my children. I want them to become all that they can. I want them to be happy and contented. I want them to find fulfilment in life. I want to experience meaningful relationship with them. God is the same, but without the flaws of character that I have. He wants his children to experience ‘life in all its fullness’. All of them!
You are a work of Art
In Ephesians 2:10, we are described as God’s workmanship a word that could equally be translated as God’s work of art. Michelangelo’s ‘pieta’ is generally acclaimed as one of the greatest pieces of art in the world. On Pentecost Sunday 1972 a man took a hammer to it and tried to destroy it, knocking off Mary’s left arm, snapping off the tip of her nose, and damaging her cheek and left eye. It took 10 months to restore the statue as workmen meticulously sorted more than a 100 fragments and used glue and marble powder to make a seamless restoration. The flaws are almost invisible,
but they are there. We are God’s work of art and while conceived in perfection however flawless we appear to be we have been damaged by our sin.
You are a new Creation
Unlike Michelangelo’s artwork which could be patched up by craftsmen this option is not acceptable for God. God is The Master Craftsman and flaws and blemishes are just not his way of doing things. He is interested in
perfection, and he takes broken, blemished and flawed people and re-creates them. He creates a brand new spiritual medium and makes us anew, he did not simply clean up our old nature, he made us something new, fresh and unique (see 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 1:13 and Romans 6:4) and he moulds us as clay before the potter.
You will need paper, pencil, colour pens.