“Your workmanship is marvelous — how well I know it!” Psalm 139:14b (NLT)
If only we knew it so well, our world would be a different place. For I believe Psalm 139 lies at the crux of our spiritual formation. And until the church can get it right, we cannot be our biggest and brightest to the rest of the world.
Psalm 139 talks about how intricately and intimately God made each of us and knows each of us. It speaks very practically about the love God has for us and how that love has been expressed in the wonderful creations that we are. “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 — how well I know it!” (Ps. 139:13-14). And this isn’t the only place God expresses this sentiment. One of my favorites is Ephesians 2:10, where we are called God’s workmanship, God’s masterpiece, God’s poiema — God’s poem.
But we don’t know it. By and large, we don’t know that at our core. Because if we did, we would value ourselves differently. And if we valued ourselves differently, we would interact with ourselves differently. If I value the masterpiece that God made in me, I will honor it and care for it and learn to love it — for no other reason that because God made it for me and gave it to me, and it is wonderfully made. And if you believed it, you might interact with yourself differently too.
I’m not talking about arrogance or self-love in that way. (Arrogance, by the way, is often a cover-up for insecurity, anyway.) I’m talking about a deep knowing that God created me carefully and thoughtfully, and that God loves me more than I can ever comprehend.
And once I know these truths — that God made me a wonderfully complex masterpiece — then I can start seeing and knowing you as a wonderfully complex masterpiece … and I start interacting with you with more honor and dignity. And then the church — oh what a beauty the church would be!
But it all starts here. How well do you know the wonder of God’s workmanship?
How much do you really believe that God loves you? How much do you really believe that you are God’s poem? Your actions toward yourself and towards others reveal the answer.