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“For we are God's workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Workmanship is the result of labor and skill. As God's workmanship, we are not a random compilation of personality, intelligence, physical features, desires, strengths and weaknesses. God skillfully labored over our formation and designed us for His purposes.
From the very beginning God determined the person each of us would be:
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother's womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
Do we really believe that we are wonderfully made? Have we accepted who we are as part and parcel of God’s design for us? Or are we constantly wishing we had someone else’s abilities, looks, relationships, status, personality?
"If you cling to a negative self-image and have no great respect for your gifts, you are not being humble; you are showing no gratitude to God, who gave you the gifts. This sin of ingratitude provides the deepest wellspring of every other sin--you hate yourself, whom God loves. This fake humility masks a flinty pride: you refuse to love the gifts and even the self that God is giving you. This is a self-deceiving way of telling God, 'I will not serve.'" --From Joseph A. Tetlow SJ (Making Choices in Christ: The Foundations of Ignatian Spirituality)
Discerning who God created us to be begins with prayer and contemplation—reflecting on our strengths and weaknesses, taking a good look at where and how He has used us in the past, and earnestly seeking His guidance for what lies ahead.
When we yield to God’s design for our lives He can accomplish what He planned for us to do. Jeremiah 29:11 says God’s plans for us are for good, not for disaster. His plans give us hope and a future.
What strengths has God designed within you? Where do you sense Him leading you in the days, months, and years ahead?
©2014 Pamela D. Williams