“For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].” Ephesians 2:10 (AMP)

Ciara Lilly is a Charlotte-area writer. Her faith-based column, Fishers of Men, is published here each Monday. Opinions expressed are solely her own.

We are God’s masterpieces, His own handiwork, born completely anew.

Think about that.

I like to think of it as if we all experienced our very own “creation sessions” with God. And during these sessions, God molded each of us into the people we are today. He created every detail — every dimple, every crease that forms when you smile, your limbs — He went so far as to count the hairs on your head.

So imagine how God feels when we live as carbon copies, when we understand that we’re fearfully and wonderfully made according to Psalm 139 but live our lives according to the standards of other people. We become obsessed with temporal matters and lose sight of the “good works which God predestined for us.”

Well, imagine that you had a 5-year-old child who came home one day requesting plastic surgery to look like a model that he/she saw in a magazine. Of course, your child understands that he/she looks like mommy and daddy, but that’s not good enough. He/she is determined to look like an imitation of someone else.

What emotions are running through your head as you imagine that? What reaction would you have? Would you take your child to the nearest plastic surgeon, or maybe show him/her models from other magazines to make sure they’ve made the right selection?

Certainly, you wouldn’t. In fact, you’d probably sit our child down and explain how beautiful he/she is — without any changes.

That’s the message God is giving you: “Who you are is good enough. You are beautiful without any changes.”

No matter how many diets, how many surgeries, how many different wardrobes, etc., you will never be able to create a masterpiece more beautiful than God’s.

Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew and approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you…”

You are approved in the eyes of God. Start this week and every week remembering that God approves who you are and how you look, and His approval is the only approval that matters. Don’t give up on yourself to be like someone else. Seek to unfold the many dimensions of the person God created, and never let go of that beautiful person.

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