How’s your masterpiece?

“I have to check how my masterpiece is doing,” Rosie announced as she made her usual exuberant entrance into the ladies locker room at the health club, despite heading straight for the scale.

“Ooooh!” she said, shaking her head as she stepped off it and directed her attention toward me. “No, Sara, my masterpiece is not doing well today. No, my masterpiece is not. I am going to have to work harder.”

I have known Rosie for 15 years — generally as a classmate in “Step ‘n’ Strength” aerobics or spin class. Though her masterpiece is barely 5 feet tall, she fills a room with her cheerful and somewhat commanding presence.

“Let’s go! Let’s go!” she would call to herself as much as anyone else during class. (But, God forbid, she know your name and think you were slacking. Then she would call you out without hesitation.)

So when I read the title of the day’s devotional, “I am God’s masterpiece,” I thought of Rosie weighing hers on a daily basis at the gym.

The title referred to Ephesians 2:10 but in a translation that changed the familiar “We are His workmanship” to “We are God’s masterpiece.”

That one word completely altered my view of the verse.

Compare

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10, NASB).

with

“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” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT).

The verse is substantially the same, and yet the use of the word workmanship and good works made me think of the works God wanted me to do. Work, work, work. In comparison, the use of the words masterpiece  and good things he planned for us — as in “I am God’s masterpiece so I can do the good things he planned for me” — makes me think I am artistically crafted for a wonderful and specific purpose. Rather than work, work, work, I think, “God thought enough of me not only to make me his masterpiece but also to plan good things for me to do.” I am loved. I am custom made for a purpose. Rather than work, work, work, I think love, love, love. As in “we love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19), and that love motivates me to pursue the plan he has for me.

Like Rosie, I have a tendency to weigh my masterpiece on a daily basis — although I view the scale in the privacy of my home bathroom immediately upon wakening, before gravity can fully catch up with me. (Certainly not in a filled locker room that I enter, announcing my intention to weigh my masterpiece.) I find those brief seconds of solitude on the scale a good time to reflect on what I’ve put into my masterpiece that might make those numbers higher or lower than my norm.

Stepping on the scale is good motivation for the morning workout that soon follows — and for choosing with care what I pack into my lunchbox. But Rosie gets it. She is a masterpiece. Thinking of my body as a masterpiece — as Rosie does — makes me appreciate how and why God made me uniquely me and pushes me to make the most of the masterpiece I am inside and out — so I can passionately pursue God’s great plan for me. So much better than mere work.

How is your masterpiece?

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