Healthy Truth #4 – Workmanship

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Truth #4 – I am a workmanship in the image of God.

Read these verses and meditate on them.

Genesis 1:27 (NIV)…

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

Ephesians 2:10a (NIV)…

For we are God’s handiwork.

Amid the judgmental Jewish culture prevalent in the early days of the church, the Holy Spirit prompted James to write a stern reproof to those who would bless God and curse people “out of the same mouth” (NIV). This sort of duality ought not be, he explained, as the very people that are being cursed are made in the image of the very God being blessed. Their criticism was in effect targeted at a reflection of God. What God-fearing Christian would dare curse God?

Yet when we scowl into the mirror and say things like “you’re a fat slob” or “what an ugly piece of trash”, are we not doing the same thing, cursing — speaking death over — the image of God?

What’s more, Paul reveals that we’re God’s “workmanship”, a word some translations render as “masterpiece”. So our criticism is of His image and His creative skills, indicating His craftsmanship simply isn’t up to our standards.

Imagine your six-year-old daughter coming to you all fancied up in a pretty dress and holding out a picture she’s just drawn of you and her holding hands, surrounded by floating hearts and flowers. Now, imagine your response:

“Awe, I love you, and I can see you really tried hard on this. But the truth is, you’ve done a terrible job. See here? You clearly colored outside the lines like the incompetent fool you are. And I have five fingers, not three, which shows me you’re too dumb to count. Plus, these flowers floating around aren’t even connected to the ground; what idiocy is that? No, my daughter, this is worthless,” you say, systematically ripping up the paper into tiny pieces. “Now, get out of my sight, and while you’re at it, get out of that hideous dress. You repulse me, you ugly little piece of crap. I love you.”

Who are we to suggest the artwork of an infinitely wise and powerful God is equally dismissible by our “insightful” critique?

How arrogant of us!

That’s almost unbearable to write, much less to actually do. Yet this is the feedback we offer God when we berate ourselves in the mirror. And what’s more, a six-year-old’s artwork is predictably flawed — she’s only six — but who are we to suggest the artwork of an infinitely wise and powerful God is equally dismissible by our “insightful” critique?

How arrogant of us!

We see flaw, but God sees beauty.

We see imperfection, but God sees His reflection.

We presume to call these things shortfalls, but God created them as windfalls. How much richer could we possibly be than to be given the honor of carrying the image of the Almighty in a totally unique way? No other creature on earth is so privileged.

As we strive for heath, we need to identify ourselves as the image-bearers we are. This expands on the idea that we’re created to be ourselves (see Truth #1) because each of us carries a unique reflection of the Lord. To stifle, denigrate, or oppress our body image is to do the same to the Image we carry. Obviously that isn’t our intent, but that’s all the more reason for us to stop.

Instead, we must accept and embrace this truth. We must appreciate the creation we are. We must praise God, for we’re fearfully and wonderfully made. We must look at our reflection in the mirror, at His reflection, and soberly say: I am a workmanship in the image of God.

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Originally posted 2016-01-22 08:00:34.

Photo credit: johnsto / Foter / CC BY
About Phil (251 Articles)
Philip Osgood is a Christian husband, father, and writer who considers himself a passable video game player, fiction reader, camping and hiking enthusiast, welder, computer guy, and fitness aficionado, though real experts in each field might just die of laughter to hear him claim it. He has been called snarky, cynical, intelligent, eccentric, creative, logical, and Steve for some reason. Phil and his beautiful wife Clara live in Texas with their children in a house with a dog but no white picket fence. He does own a titanium spork from ThinkGeek, though, so he must be alright.