When asked which author he would choose to write his life’s story, author and activist Wendell Berry answered: “A horrible thought. Nobody. As the only person who ever has lived my life, I know that most of it can never be documented, is beyond writing and beyond words.”
Berry knows (and this is consistent in his writing) that each human life, each human story, is uniquely marvelous. The wonder of a life can never be captured in mere words.
David knew this truth even better than Berry. He reveled in the wonder of how he existed as God’s intricate creation, knowing that God “made all the delicate, inner parts of [his] body” (Psalm 139:13). When he considered his physical traits and his complex personhood (all the things that made him the unique person he was), David exclaimed to God: “Your workmanship is marvelous” (Psalm 139:14).
This may seem odd, or even inappropriate, to some. Are we supposed to think well of who we are—of our body or our personality? If we consider such things, aren’t we merely exhibiting pride? The psalmist recognized that we’re God’s grand creation, and we properly honor Him when we recognize how He reveals love, beauty, and goodness in and through us. While it’s true that we’re sinful and in need of God’s rescue, it’s also true that we’re splendid humans who bear God’s image and can radiate beauty to the world.
Many of us are concerned about dishonoring God by thinking too highly of ourselves (Romans 12:3). Fair enough. It’s also possible to dishonor God, however, by dishonoring His creation. We’re God’s craftsmanship—“God’s masterpiece,” Paul says (Ephesians 2:10).
You are God’s masterpiece. God takes delight in you. In you, God has made something truly good and beautiful.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Genesis 37:1-36
Read Ephesians 2:10 and ponder the word masterpiece. What does this word communicate to you? What does it mean for God’s people to be a masterpiece?
When is it most difficult to believe that you reveal something profoundly good and beautiful? What kind of objections do you encounter when you begin to think of yourself this way?