For some reason 2nd Thessalonians 3:13 stuck out to me as I read it yesterday…
But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth (ESV).
Here Paul is saying that He is thankful for the believers in Thessalonica because God chose and saved them through their ongoing sanctification. We could also read this as God chose and saved them because He saw what they could become through His work in their lives.
A phrase that I’ve continued to process a lot since I first heard it many months ago is from Ian Morgan Cron, on his podcast, who said:
Jesus died for our beauty as much as our brokenness.
Christianity puts a strong emphasis on the depravity of man. It’s something I’ve come to embrace in myself, hence the name of this blog. I came to a point in my life where I recognized that no good thing could come for me, on my own. And I still believe this to be true.
I cannot do a godly thing on my own.
It is the God within me who provokes me toward these things.
But this is only half the picture. By entering into the journey of relationship with God, He begins to shape us and change us into His likeness, creating something beautiful out of what was previously broken.
God sees the potential beauty in all of us. It’s the beauty that takes place as He enters into our lives. It’s not the beauty we can create on our own. It’s the beauty that pours out of us as His light shines from within.
I recently spent time with a friend who was noticeably different than when I had last been around him, years before. I had this picture of him that I had made up from all my earlier interactions with him, but spending time with this “new” him was startling for me. How could he change? I had already figured him out enough to place him in a box so that I could easily manage friendship with him.
I think we often do this to ourselves. We assume that God made us how we are today and that’s the bottom line. What if God saw us for what He wanted us to become, instead of exclusively the way we are today? Would that change the way we live today?
God sees you for what you can become.
|| Check out last week’s related post on our ability to change ||