“To create is a privilege and an honor.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 10, 2021
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
My husband and I recently attended the Van Gogh Alive exhibit in Denver. While we watched photographs of Vincent’s paintings illuminate on thirty-foot-high panels with the beat of lively music, I thought, “Everyone is creating something.”
Indeed, we are all creating something because everyone is called to create. Certainly, we’re all not painters like Van Gogh, but we are teachers, architects, accountants, doctors, psychologists, writers, scientists, gas station attendants, and entrepreneurs. No matter what we do, we are all creating. And, in creating, we are following in the footsteps of the Divine, for God himself is the Creator of all that is—and we are made in His image.
To create is a privilege and an honor. However, that we use our gifts—no matter what they are—is up to us. What God does with the gifts that we use for His glory is up to Him.
For example, when Van Gogh was alive, it is said that he only sold two paintings of the 900 he created. He felt his life was a waste and that he felt he had failed as an artist and a human being. In a letter to his brother, Theo, he wrote, “I feel—a failure—that’s it as regards me—I feel that that’s the fate I’m accepting. And which won’t change any more.” I find it sad that Vincent couldn’t see the rest of his story. He couldn’t have imagined how his beloved artwork has captivated people around the globe for over a hundred years.
He struggled with something that perhaps we all do: We want to know our gifts are making an impact. However, the reality is that most of us have no idea how our gifts have truly impacted others. And it will most likely only be on the other side of heaven that we will see the full impact of what we have done. The Lord does with our gifts as He chooses. It’s our job to use them to love others and glorify Him.
It’s also tragic that Van Gogh attached his worth and identity to his success. We are most free, not only when we leave the results of what we do to God, but also remember that our identity does not come from our gifts or what we do. Our worth is not in our success. We are simply called to obey the Lord by using the gifts He has given.
Isn’t it such a blessed truth that as a child of God, you don’t receive identity from your gifts or from success? Your identity is in who you are in Christ.
1 John 3:1 says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
As you use your gifts, remember to leave the results to Him and also remember that nothing can take away His love for you. You are His beloved child! In these truths, you will find delight—rather than despair—as you use your gifts for His glory and for the good of others.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).
Lord, as I serve you using the gifts you have given me, help me to leave the results to you—and help me to remember that my true identity is in you. Even if I don’t see my gifts producing the results I want, help me to remember that you have a plan and that I am your beloved child. Amen.
Ponder the question, “Have I attached my value to whether I feel I succeed or fail in the use of my gifts?” Then, talk with the Lord about it.
Chris Tomlin – Gifts From God
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