Living in Faith, Scripture verses, What I've Learned Lately

We’re all a masterpiece — and a work in progress

By Leigh DeLozier (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram)

A few weeks ago, I saw a meme with a message that stuck with me (I wish I remembered who it was from to give credit):

You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress.

In our go-go-go world that always seems to demand perfection, those words resonated with me. The world expects us to be a masterpiece — someone who sets and achieves goals, who manages to strike the perfect balance between our personal and professional lives, who always has our act together.

Then something happens to remind us — and the world — that we’re not perfect after all. We miss a deadline. We burn dinner. We don’t get the promotion. We forget it’s picture day and send our child to school in a faded, old t-shirt.

The world doesn’t like to see that we are not a flawless masterpiece. That reality can lead to us being ridiculed, ignored, or otherwise seen as not worthwhile or important.

But God sees us in a different way.

We are a masterpiece because we are created by God and created in His image.

  • So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27 ESV)
  • Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (Genesis 2:7 ESV)
  • Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (1 Corinthians 15: 49 ESV)

God Himself is perfection and, as the old saying goes, God doesn’t create junk. No matter what this fickle world might think, God sees us as His child who is worth loving and dying for.

Yet God also knows we’re not perfect. We’re still a work in progress.

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, our past sins are forgiven and we’re given a fresh, clean start (see Isaiah 1:18-20, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Ephesians 1, 1 John 1:9). But the fact that we’re human and live in a sinful world means our fresh, clean place of perfection doesn’t last.

We say or think unkind — even cruel — words. We hurt people’s feelings. We get angry or prideful or jealous. We do things we shouldn’t — or don’t do the things we should.

The Apostle Paul even wrote about his frustration with this in his own life:

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. … For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. (Romans 7:15-20 ESV)

God understands this tug-of-war inside us. He created us as His masterpiece, yet we’re still so far from perfection, no matter how hard we try.

But that’s part of the point, isn’t it?

Nothing we do or say or achieve will make us perfect. Only Jesus was perfect, and He stood in our place — loaded with all our sin, guilt, and imperfection — so we could be clean and approach God.

How amazing that God allows — even invites! — us to come to Him in the first place. And that Jesus was willing to die a horrible, painful death on our behalf so we could go.

Once we take that step toward God, He is always willing to give us another chance. We can take our situation to Him, repent of what we did wrong, ask for forgiveness — and receive it. Every single time.

And then we start again from a fresh place. As we’re reminded in Isaiah:

But now, this is what the Lord says —
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

“I, even I, am he who blots out
your transgressions, for my own sake,
and remembers your sins no more.”

Isaiah 43:1, 25 NIV

We’re a work in progress that will never reach perfection because of the world we live in. But that’s OK. Because despite our flaws and failures, we’re a masterpiece of God.

Your turn: On the days when all you see is “work in progress,” how do you remind yourself that you’re God’s masterpiece? Share a comment below to help encourage someone else.

We will never reach perfection because of the world we live in. But despite our flaws and failures, we’re a masterpiece of God. #Christianity #encouragement #wordsofhope Click To Tweet

6 thoughts on “We’re all a masterpiece — and a work in progress”

  1. Such beautiful thoughts, Leigh. We can become so frustrated trying to reach a level of perfection. But we can remember to hold on to Philppians 1:6 that tells us Jesus will complete in us the work He started. Thanks for this encouraging post.

  2. Well said Ms. Leigh. Thank you for such an encouraging post ma’am. We too often fall into that “Comparison Trap” where we think we need to measure up to some other person. What I’ve learned is that one person’s success is but a stepping stone to success for another. The only person I have to compare myself to is the “yesterday me.” If I can see even the slightest improvement over yesterday, then that day has been a success. God’s blessings sweet friend.

    1. What an amazing attitude we could all learn from, JD! I love your idea of “yesterday me” and need to start thinking that way myself when the failures mount up. Thank you for blessing us with your wisdom, as always.

  3. What an encouraging and uplifting message, Leigh. Thank you for this day brightener. I’m so thankful that our Father continues to work on us. I’m so imperfect, yet He loves me, guides me, picks me up when I stumble, and continues to have patience when I keep messing up. We are so blessed.

    1. Katherine, you’re so right! No matter how much more a “work in progress” we are than a “masterpiece,” the Master Himself continues to shower us with patience and love. We are blessed indeed!

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