Masterpieces: How can sinful people ever be good?

Do you remember in the very beginning of the Bible when God saw all of His creation, and said, "It is very good"? Every time He created something, He would say, "...And it was good." So there is the conundrum, right? God says that what He created is good, and yet, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

When Jesus says that "no one is good" (Luke 18:19), what He is talking about is the ability to be perfect on our own. When God created us, we were perfect because that is how He created us. Not because of anything we had done ourselves, but that is how we were made. And that is true after the fall of Adam as well—God continued to create each and every one of us as a perfect image of Himself. However, due to sin in the world, we are raised imperfectly.

Imagine a potter. The potter creates his masterpiece, and it is BEAUTIFUL. It is a gorgeous vase, with all the curves where they should be, and wonderful, graceful handles. It works well too. The potter intended the vase to be used, not just looked at! It holds water, and carries it well, without leaving a weird flavor when people drink from it.

Then the potter sells his vase. He now has no control over how it is used or how it is filled. Unfortunately, because the world is dirty and grimy, and the people using the vase don't have as much care as the potter did when he was creating this beautiful thing, it gets dirty. It begins to crack and smell, and the only person who can fix it, the only one who can restore it to its former glory, is the potter.

So finally, someone takes it back to the potter. The potter weeps at how his vase looks. It is nothing like how He created it to be. Yes, it still technically works, and it still technically functions, but it isn't the masterpiece that it was, or could be.

Slowly, the potter cleans it, using the only cleanser that will clean the vase. He lovingly oils it, healing the cracks. It isn't a process that is fast or immediate. The potter has to take a lot of care with the vase for fear of it breaking in the process. But he is a master, and he knows his masterpieces inside out, and therefore, it won't break. He won't allow it to because he has loved it so much. He might have to put it back in the kiln to set some of the cracks, or to reheat some of the glaze, but he knows what he is doing. Someday, he will be able to see it fully restored, and it will stay with him this time.

This is (loosely) an analogy for how God sees us. He created us perfectly—WE are His masterpieces. He created us. He loves us so deeply, and He knows us inside and out. However, when God places us on this earth, we are given free will. Because of the world around us, we begin to get dirty and we break. Our cracks aren't because that is how God made us, but because of the sin and darkness in the world.

Someone who does not have the Holy Spirit in them is still a beautiful masterpiece created by God. They were created perfectly just like you or me. However, the world has affected them differently. While you and I are like the vase that has been given into the care of the potter and are slowly being cleaned and restored so that we can stay with our Creator, someone who does not know Christ is like the vase that is still out in the world. It is still beautiful, and it still technically functions, but that doesn't mean that it is as amazing as it could be.

A person who does not know Christ is not totally bad or evil. They were still created by God, weren't they? And God does not create mistakes. Therefore, we should look at everyone as a masterpiece of God, despite what they believe or who they follow. That being said, the only way for them to be with God is for them to be restored through the grace of Christ's death on the cross. So while we love them and see them as a masterpiece, we should continue to pray for them, and live our own lives as examples of the vase who are being cleaned by the potter.

—Bambino del Dio

Writer: Bambino del Dio

Bambino del Dio is a young graphic designer who loves life, and is always looking to try new things. She enjoys art, writing, and collecting rubber duckies.

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