I believe the world is full of artists. In fact, I believe everyone is a painter.
Our dreams and thoughts and ambitions and goals lead our lives in a direction that is manifested through our actions. These actions shape and form an image. This image is like a picture, or a painting, and we are its artist.
I have heard it said before that the issue most people have with God or religion or faith or church is actual just a misperception. The cause of this misperception stems from an unhealthy image of who God is to that person.
And how do people get this unhealthy image of God?
From the judgmental church-goer who turns their noses at sinners for not falling in line with their ideals.
From the hypocrites who religiously spout off scripture on Sundays, but cuss and smoke and drink and tell inappropriate jokes the rest of the week.
From the pastors of the mega-church that always asks for money though they live in million dollar mansions while their own city is filled with homelessness and poverty.
From the zealots that bombs abortion clinics in the name of sexual accountability.
From the church that constantly petitions the funerals of dead soldiers because of their sexual orientation.
From the leaders of the Crusades whose fanaticism stated that if you did not submit to their way of thinking, then you were not fit to live.
We are all painting a picture, so what does your canvas reflect to the world? When a non-believer peers into your life, what image of God are you representing?
I believe we as believers spend far too much time attempting to manipulate and control the behaviors of others when we should be paying more attention to the picture we are painting to the world. Instead of casting stones, we should be refining our brush strokes to more accurately capture the subtle details of Him. In place of petitioning and boycotting, we should invest more time in communion with our Lord, for the closer we are to Him, to more precise our portrait of Him will be to the masses.
It only takes a glimpse of who God really is to captivate someone enough to allow God’s pursuit to fully envelop them. But how can someone ever catch a glimpse if we are all novice painters or detached from our subject? It takes a great amount of practice to move beyond being a novice in terms of painting. And even a master artist would have difficulty creating a clear-cut piece solely from memory based on only a few fleeting glances. No, we must learn to become proficient at how we best represent Him and we must become familiar enough with Him to accurately represent Him.
We are all painting a picture. What does yours look like?