Jerry Iamurri
Jerry Iamurri

God's Masterpiece


April 2023

It is the end of the semester and final exams are coming up. You realize that you have an exam scheduled for a class that you never attended. You go to the registrar (who is the toughest administrator in the school) to see if they can withdraw you from the class or get you an extension. You try to explain that you’re an adult who has finished school and so the exam shouldn’t really matter. You hope and pray that it’ll all work out. A surprising number of adults have this dream or something like it several times a year. Preachers have the dream that they’re guest preaching at a church but forgot the sermon. Other variations include being somewhere fancy but without proper clothes (or no clothes at all). These anxiety dreams are common, and they reflect a deep worry about our own adequacy. Imposter syndrome is when a person feels like they are fulfilling a role that they are unqualified for and have only achieved through some form of deception. Schools and pulpits are places where people feel significant performance anxiety and invest a great deal of emotional energy in preparing so as to receive approval rather than rejection.

Christians are far from immune to performance anxiety. After all, the Lord’s mission is significant, souls are at stake and people’s spiritual lives hang in the balance. The Lord we serve is perfect; he created the heavens and the earth and there is no sin in him. We, on the other hand, are made in the image of God but that image has been distorted by sin. How can we ever perform adequately? A couple of important things to remember. Ephesians 2:10 says that we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which he has prepared in advance for us to do. The Greek word for “workmanship” implies a creative and artistic masterpiece. It is the same word that we get the English word “poem.” When you are in Christ, you are God’s masterpiece. God had you in his mind “before he formed you in the womb.” When Jesus died on the cross, he proclaimed, “It is finished” “tetelestai” which means “paid in full.” This means that the Lord who created you, forgives you on the cross and he empowers you to do the work to which he has called you. You are uniquely shaped by God’s sovereignty, specifically for God’s service. He created you and is working on you to become more like Christ and to accomplish your calling. You may feel “less than” but you’re not. Jesus says you are worth dying for.