I read this recently which really spoke to me about how we, as a Christian community, ought to treat our fellow believers. It’s by John Burke (pastor of Gateway Church) in an essay entitled “God is For You” in Craig Groeschel (ed) What is God Really Like (pp 68ff):
Jesus gave his life so that every willing person could be restored into right relatedness with God by grace. He did it so that we would all let God lead us daily to become the masterpiece he intended. What if we created a culture focused on calling out the masterpiece God sees waiting to be revealed in Christ?
If you found a Rembrandt painting covered in mud, you wouldn’t focus on the mud or treat it like mud. Your primary concern would not be the mud at all, though it would need to be removed. You’d be ecstatic to have something so valuable in your care. I’ll bet you wouldn’t try to clean it up by yourself, for fear you might damage it. You would carefully bring this work of art to a master, who would guide you in how to restore it to the condition originally intended.
When people begin treating one another as God’s masterpieces waiting to be revealed, God’s grace grows in their lives and cleanses them. What do you see first in others – the mud or the masterpiece?
In the lead up to Easter, I am so glad that God saw me as a masterpiece, worthy of His sending His own Son to die for me. Shouldn’t we also see others as if they are also God’s masterpieces that led to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross?