Do you feel like one? I don't know about you, but some days I feel much more masterpiece-ish than others. Usually it's a good hair day, I'm feeling patient, the house is clean, the kids are diligent and cooperative, dinner is ready on time, and everyone sleeps soundly all night. I give myself a little mental pat on the back and congratulate myself for a job well-done. Looking at that list of requirements, however, it shouldn't surprise me when a not so masterpiece-ish day crashes in on me a few days later.
For several months, I've been pondering the idea of what God thinks of me. I'm discovering my perspective is a little skewed. In some odd way, I think I require more of myself (which is pride) than God does, in that He doesn't beat me up when I fail. He knows it will happen, offers forgiveness and a fresh start, and moves on. Meanwhile, I'm still wallowing in frustration and self-loathing, annoyed that I made the same mistake again. Somehow I transfer that disgust to God. If I feel impatient with myself, He must even more so. Either I overlook the grace He is freely offering because I am busy condemning myself, or I accept the grace feeling so guilty that I miss the joy that should accompany the grace-gift.
In the first two chapters of Ephesians, Paul points out just how twisted my thinking is. Look at how God really feels about us:
- blessed with every spiritual blessing in the Heavenly realms (1:3 NLT)
- loved before the creation of the world (1:4)
- chosen (in Christ) to be holy (1:4)
- adopted into His family. (1:5). He enacted a plan, Jesus Christ, to be able to do this, and even more it gave him GREAT PLEASURE to do so. Paul says that "great pleasure". How cool is that!
- purchased by the blood of His dearly loved Son (1:7)
- forgiven (1:7)
- showered with His kindness, wisdom, and understanding (1:8)
- heirs to an inheritance (1:11)
- given a purpose (to praise Him) (1:12)
- saved (1:13)
- identified as His own (1:13)
- recipients of His great mercy and life through Christ (2:4)
- loved so very much (2:4)
- recipients of His special favor (2:5)
- raised from the dead with Christ (2:6)
- seated with Him in the heavenly realm (2:6)
- one with Christ Jesus (2:6)
- examples of His favor and kindness (2:7)