I am still learning, everything has a purpose. I say still learning because there are still times I look up to the Lord and ask the question, “Why?”, “Why can’t I just be like EVERYBODY ELSE?”.
Well the truth of the matter is. I can’t be like everyone else, because I’m not everyone else. And I don’t say this in one of those, “God made you special”, “you’re anointed to impact the world” kind of ways. While those things may be true, what’s truer is that God made me an individual, unlike anyone else, unique down to my hair, fingerprints, and DNA composition. Why? I don’t know, probably because he wanted to be able to tell me apart from the 50 Kagillion other people who have walked this planet over time. I mean, even ink pens have serial numbers.
Well, in that case who am I? Who did He, the maker of the Universe, create me to be?
Now we all have the obvious answers. You know, the ones found in the Bible? Let’s recite them together… We are peculiar people, fearfully and wonderfully made, separated for His service, chosen people of God, sanctified by His grace, and the most important one saved through Jesus resurrection.
But what about getting a real deep understanding of ourselves?
I often hear people say things like, “well that’s just how God made me!” Funny enough, they usually say this when they are doing something God wouldn’t want them to do, lol. In fact some of the meanest people I’ve known have chalked their abusive and hurtful behavior up to, “it’s the way I am”.
But is that really true? Is there something truer?
First of all, to put an end to all the excuses we use for our bad choices or behaviors, “bad” is not how God made you. God created you in His image and likeness. So in essence we are to be just like He is. Just like everything else He created, when He created you, He intended you to be good. In fact you ARE good! Now of course, we all make mistakes and have problems, because we’re fallen. But God didn’t make you fallen, He made you good.
SO! Now that we have that out of the way. Let’s talk about the who instead of the what. We so often define ourselves by “what” and “how” we are instead of truly finding out who we are. We say things like, we are (insert job title here). Or we are (insert mom, dad, grandmother, etc). Or we are (insert caring, funny, passionate, or other descriptive adjective). But those are whats and hows. Mom, dad, human resources manager, quirky are all descriptive characteristics, but not true identifiers.
See the who lies in your identity. When someone looks at me and says, “who is that?” The answer is almost always, “Stefan”.
So can we find the who? How exactly do we get to know who we are?
In order to really do that, you must talk to the person who created you. Follow me for a moment as I attempt to illustrate this…
When an artist creates a painting, a “work of art”, they often give it a name. Let’s call this painting The Tragic Awakening. (sounds like a good book title, don’t steal it) So a painter has created a work of art and given it a name, an identity. This artist has given their painting a “who”.
So when you ask the artist the name of the painting, they will tell you, “The Tragic Awakening”. But as you get to know the artist better, and find all about him you actually begin to learn more about The Tragic Awakening.
You still following me? Good!
So you’re talking with this artist and you’re beginning to understand his personality, you’re learning his likes, dislikes, passion, sorrow, tendencies, strengths and weaknesses. The more you learn about the artist, you begin to understand why he made certain brush strokes in the painting. You start to realize that he used the color blue in this section because to him blue represent passion for life and the hurt that passion can bring. You start to understand that the painting is made with oils because the artist feels natural oils capture the care expressed in his work. The more you talk to the artist, the more he begins to share with you what the work of art means to him and why he sees it as so valuable. Why the price is so high for it! Got it? Good!
Now take all of that and insert the true artist. (you already know where I’m going with this) The true artist is Jesus, and the work of art is you. The more you get to know the artist, Christ, the more you begin to understand the work of art, you. You then become able to know yourself like you never have before. Shedding all of the what’s and how’s and why’s, and reflecting the who God has created in you. Some of the adjectives may sound the same, but once you discover yourself, they take on a whole new meaning.
Over the past few months, God has been leading me through a discovery of who I actually am. Your “who” is defined by God and is expressed not through your personality and preferences but through His personality and preference for YOU!
I encourage you to take some time and sit with the artist. Learn from Him exactly why he created you the work of art that you are. Why use this color here? Why leave this area blank? Why so abstract? Why so symmetrical? Why is the left side focused and the right side out of focus? Why bring attention to this area? This is your opportunity to truly digest the work of art you are.
The possibilities of what you discover are endless. I’ll leave you with this thought…
When people go to an art gallery and view the artwork, the best paintings are interpreted so differently by so many people. While someone make look at you and see deep love and compassion, someone else might look at shyness, while another might see innocence, all in the same painting.
That’s just how deep God made you. That’s just how much there is to discover.
So go ahead, stare deeply into the work of art that is you, and ask the artist all about it…