Wiregrass Hope Group's Christian counselors have written these posts on anxiety based on their own experiences and the book Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. Our hope is for you to live free from anxiety.
This verse from Ephesians takes me back to Vacation Bible School early 2000. The theme that year was God’s Great Gallery. I actually still have the cassette, yes, the cassette tape, from that program. However, the cassette player I have no longer works; but I remember listening to that tape over and over that summer and thinking about the masterpiece God created in each and every one of us. I have spent many years telling my children that they are so worthy not because of what they do or do not do, but because they are beloved children of God and that ALONE makes them incredibly worthy.
Most of us have found ourselves at times feeling insecure, not smart enough, not pretty enough or not talented enough. Insecurity is not from God. God created each of us exactly how he wanted us to be in order to carry out our unique plan that He created specifically for us. Sometimes we become competitive and try to be like or better than someone else and we fall into the comparison trap. The world wants us to determine our self worth based on performance and what other people think or say about us, but our self worth comes from God. Performance leads to pride and comparison. How great would it be to compliment one another instead of comparing ourselves with one another? What would it look like if we put aside the worldview of determining self-worth - the measuring stick including the size of our homes, the jobs/titles we hold, the cars we drive, the degrees we receive and even the roles we play in our church? What if we started thinking about our worth based on God’s truths?
What a beautiful concept to realize that we were thought about and created by our Heavenly Father to be exactly who we are and that includes our personality, our abilities, our heart and mind, and our experiences.
How can we accept ourselves as the masterpiece God created us to be and to trust that God knows what He is doing? Romans 3:22-23 and Romans 4:5 tells us that our worth and value come from the fact that Jesus died for us and not because of our performance or because we can do everything perfectly. In Ephesians 1:1-23, we are reminded of God’s truths that we are chosen, declared as holy and blameless, we are adopted, He has redeemed us and forgiven us. 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us that being confident in who God made us to be and loving ourselves involves accepting our weaknesses and allowing God the opportunity to show His divine power and glorify His kingdom. God has given each of us gifts and abilities unlike anyone else.
God has a plan and a purpose for each of us. We are His masterpiece and as the VBS song goes “we are living in God’s great gallery.”
I love walking through an art gallery especially one where lots of different art is housed. There are so many different styles of art, so many different techniques and mediums used and I am always in awe of each artist’s talent and creativity. How amazing to think that we are part of God’s great gallery and I so desire for us to appreciate each piece He has designed and created. I want us to think about being able to let go of the paintbrush and allowing God to continue the work He has started in us. In Calm My Anxious Heart (pages 42-43), we are presented with the concept of a frame representing our personality, physical traits, our gifts and our abilities. We all have a particular frame that fits us (the artwork) just perfectly as we are emerging and becoming who God designed us to be stroke by stroke with His paintbrush. Let’s answer the questions on page 43 as we are asked to stand back and look at the picture…What do we see reflected? Is it the character of Christ or frantic activity? Are we painting with colors of character or colors of accomplishment? Is accomplishment overshadowing growth and becoming?
I admit it is sometimes hard to appreciate who God has designed me to be. There have been times when I was worried that I should be doing more than raising my children. Surely God needed me in the workplace. It took a while, but I finally surrendered that God had me exactly where He wanted me. I love telling my children, friends, and my clients how worthy they are and encouraging them to grow and become who God created them to be, but it is harder for me to convince myself that I am a masterpiece in God’s great gallery. This is when I have to cling to God’s truths and know that where my vision is limited, God’s love and vision for me is limitless. Praising God for making me the way that I am and loving what He has created in me helps me to better carry out the command to love others as myself.
- In what ways are you comparing yourself to others and desiring something they have? Are you caught up in the comparison trap to determine your self-worth?
- Do you believe God has a plan and a purpose for your life?
- Can you accept yourself and trust God in who He has created you to be? Can you appreciate you flaws as well as your strengths?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, please search our hearts and reveal to us the source in which we determine our worth. Help us to focus on you in all we do desiring your plan for our life. Help us to remember we are your masterpiece and we were created just as you wanted us to be. Give us grateful hearts and appreciation for the unique design you so graciously gave us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Further Study: Read Chapter 3 of Calm My Anxious Heart.
Small Group Questions: Questions 5, 6, 7, 11 of Week 3 in the back of Calm My Anxious Heart.
Comment: Do you struggle to see yourself as God’s artwork?
Please share your answer either in the comments section below or join the conversation with our Facebook Community Group. #undividedwomen.