Not long ago my sister sent me some photos of flowers in her garden for me to paint. When I first saw this flower I was struck by the vibrant color and unique shape. Usually a flower’s beauty is seen immediately and not hidden.
Sometimes the uniqueness captures our curiosity causing us to pause and check it out. Isn’t it amazing how God will create something with a unique shape, a vibrant color, or both to capture our attention? When I see a flower like the first one above, that’s unique and different, I want to flip it upright to see underneath it. As I studied this hidden gem, I thought about how God sees our inner beauty. But what do we see? Do we see the outside of a person, their cloak that hides their true beauty? Or like God, do we see the inner beauty of a person? I’d like to say I always see the inner beauty of people but unfortunately that isn’t always the case.
Usually when I meet people, I’m friendly, non-judgmental, and accept them as they are. However, there have been times I’m sad to say when I’ve seen someone and judged them based on appearance. When I’ve had to ask for forgiveness because of my attitude. I think it’s called being jaded. When you’ve seen the uglier side of life, it can happen. You base your opinion on past experiences instead of the present. It can happen to anyone not just people who’ve seen the uglier side of life. Regardless, it’s inexcusable considering that we as God’s children aren’t supposed to be that way. Not anymore. Not when we are a new creature. When we’ve put away the old and put on the new. We are to have wisdom and discernment and sometimes, we’ll feel that nudge from the Lord cautioning us to be careful, that’s when we need to listen. But when we look at someone based on appearance, that isn’t of the Lord and that’s when we need to repent of our judging attitude. Jesus tells us
Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
He also said,
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.
But unfortunately it happens. If we only see with our eyes, and not listen with our ears, we’ll miss out on the true inner beauty of the person God created them to be. When we do we are the one to miss out on a hidden gem. God bless!
Last year, I started painting again. Only this time I’m working with watercolor as opposed to oils. It started with sketches and drawings and then one day I noticed a watercolor painting and thought I’d give it a shot. After all it couldn’t be that hard right? Not as easy as I first thought. I started sketching what I wanted to paint to help me get a better feel for the painting. I tend to be harder on myself than I should be. (Some days I think I prefer my drawings over the paintings but that’s because I need to practice.) I’ll draw or paint something and I’ll ask my husband what he thinks of it. He can tell me it looks good and I’ll say something critical about it. He’s always reminding me not to be so hard on myself. He has encouraged me to take art lessons but I’ve declined ~ call me chicken~ no, truth is I’ve found some people on ~ yep, YouTube ~ that I follow and I have learned quite a bit. I find myself noticing things more often and I’ll say “God, teach me how to paint that”. I mean, He is after all the Master and His masterpieces are breathtakingly amazing. Take you for instance, you are His masterpiece and you were uniquely designed by Him for Him.
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.
One thing that is a given, practice. You have to practice if you want to improve. Patience. That’s something else you have to remember. Patience. It takes time to develop your talent. It takes time to improve your skills. I’ve had this particular post sitting on the shelf since mid March. At first I put it down to blogger’s block. Then recently while reading a devotional from Intouch Ministries, I had one of those “aha” moments.
Just as it takes practice and patience to learn a craft, if we really want to discover who God is through His Word, it takes practice and patience on our part. There are three things we need to do. Meditate. As we meditate on His word, we learn about who He is. Study. Studying His word gives us a better understanding of our Lord. Pray. Through meditation and study, our prayers are our response to what we learn about God. As we learn more about God our prayers will overflow into praise, gratitude, and petitions that align with His will. (Intouch Ministries paraphrased)
I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your Word.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.