For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The greek word for workmanship is poiema, we get the word ‘poem’ from it. How special to understand that God crafted each one of us uniquely, as a poet crafts each one of their poems different from the others. This verse makes it clear the His workmanship is not be a decoration or adornment like a painting which does nothing but hang on the wall and look pretty. God created His masterpieces with function and purpose as well as beauty. In days gone by craftsmen added beauty to their work even when it did nothing for its function. Look at the great cathedrals of
Europe, or a
house built in a Victorian style. They
had purpose, function and beauty. He has crafted each one of us with a unique
set of talents, physical attributes, life circumstances, experiences and
passions. When we are saved the Holy Spirit adds a personalized set of
spiritual gifts. All of these are combined to address a God given purpose and
ongoing function which we are especially qualified to address.
I played basketball at the bible college I attended. Our coach tried to instill in each one of us an attitude he called ‘praise performance’. The idea was that the only one that mattered as we played was the one gave everything for us, that is Jesus. He knew how hard we tried when the coach and teammates didn’t. Similarly he knows what we are best suited for and what our true potential is. What others think about us and what we think about ourselves are often distractions, diverting our attention from God’s best purpose for our lives. The only person that matters is God and what He thinks of us. To Him each one of us is a carefully crafted masterpiece with a unique purpose.
We can abuse our identity as poiemas when we refuse to recognize what we were created for. Like using a screwdriver to pry or to chisel, when we try to operate outside of our God given design and purpose the result is often at the very least damage to us and ineffectiveness in what we were trying to accomplish, at worse, damage to what we were trying to accomplish.
Let’s never lose sight of the fact that we are God’s masterpieces then live live in accordance with who He created us to be.