As a woman who was blessed to grow up in a Christian home and has spent her life surrounded by good Biblical teaching, I understand where the statement God doesn’t make junk comes from. The Bible contains so many statements about God’s delight in us as His creation. When God saw the first man and woman He created He declared them, “very good”.
Ps 139 reminds me that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made”.
Ephesians 2:10 tells me that “.. we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
My value and worth to God has been something that is very important to me and an essential part of my faith… but so often I have been tempted to look at the mess I see inside, the bits other people don’t see and ask myself,
“If God doesn’t make junk, then what is all this I see inside me?”
How do I reconcile the ugliness and mess, the stuff that DOES NOT reflect God’s character and glory with this message that God created me and I am His workmanship?
One common response I see around me is to ignore that stuff. People are encouraged to recite those verses and the idea that God doesn’t make junk as a kind of mantra. If you believe and repeat them often enough you will change the way you think. You will believe that you are o.k. This will somehow allow you to BE the person you believe you are.
While there is truth to this at one level I would suggest that this on its own it is actually damaging and could eventually lead you away from the One you desire to draw near to. Why?
Because, no matter how often you tell yourself these things, all that mess will still actually be there.
The temptation will be to wonder if God is lying. And even if you manage to blind yourself to the attitudes and motives which remain inside yourself, you can’t help but look around at others and recognise that, as far as masterpieces go, the actions of humanity very rarely reflect masterpieces of a Holy and loving God.
So is the Bible lying then? Is it just a nice fuzzy thought, which would be nice if it were true, but isn’t? NO WAY. The problem isn’t in the verses given above, or in the truth that God doesn’t make junk.
The problem is that we so often forget to tell the full story.
We hold onto the creation story and remind ourselves that we are made in God’s image, that God declared His creation of people “very good”. But we forget to read on to Gen 3. The bit where sin entered the world. The bit where God’s “very good” creation was marred and tainted. Romans 3:23 points back to that and tells us “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” That bit is the reason for all the mess we see when we look inside or around us at what is going on in the world.
We have to acknowledge “The Fall” of people into sin if we want a true understanding of our own value.
Because then we can begin to appreciate how much God loves us. How much He gave to restore us back to a masterpiece made in the image of God. When we see the ugliness, we understand why Jesus died. When we have this whole picture in mind it suddenly seems consistent with our reality.
I AM a masterpiece, but just like the Sistine chapel before its restoration, God’s image is hidden, concealed, influencing the interaction others can have with who I REALLY am.
I am declared restored in Christ, but that work is an ongoing one in this lifetime and I can expect that process of “becoming who God declares me to be” to be a progressive one. But how wonderful to know that I can be confident ”…that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6
As God’s spirit works in me, enabling me to choose His way rather than my own, His image becomes clearer. He more fully reveals the unique wonderful creation He made me to be.
In Christ I am the perfect masterpiece He declares me to be. I am so looking forward to the day that those around me will see that masterpiece fully and glorify the One who created it!