Word of the Week: Workmanship

“You are Special” is the title of a children’s book by Max Lucado, in which he tells about a unique community of painted wooden people called Wemmicks.

The Wemmicks give each other gold stars for their achievements or a gray dot sticker for doing not well enough. Punchinello tries hard to receive gold stars from his fellow Wemmicks, but all he ever gets is gray dots. Sadly Punchinello thinks he isn’t very important or worth very much.

Then one day Punchinello meets another Wemmick, Lucia, who doesn’t have any stickers. Neither gold stars nor gray dots. Why? She explains the stickers will not stick to her. Punchinello doesn’t want any stickers on him either. So Lucia takes him to visit Eli, the maker of all Wemmicks.

Eli explains to Punchinello that stickers will not adhere to him if he doesn’t care what other Wemmicks think. Furthermore, he’s surprised to learn that Eli loves him just the way he made him.

The point of Lucado’s story is powerful, profound, and obvious. You are uniquely made and loved by your Creator, God Almighty.

An often overlooked word that speaks to our specialness is “workmanship” found in Ephesians 2:10.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

We often focus on the “good works” we believe that we ought to be doing, and miss the import and power of being “His workmanship.”

“Workmanship” is translated from the Greek word “poiema.” Thayer says it refers to “that which has been made; a work: of the works of God as creator.” Liddell and Scott says it was also used to refer to “a poetical work” from which we derive our English word “poem.” The NLT translates the word “masterpiece.”

We are not like some awkward, clumsy Middle School project. Instead, think Michelangelo. Shakespeare. Or Beethoven. We are special. Unique. God’s masterpiece. The crowning work of His creation.

Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, expressed it this way. “You are God’s handcrafted work of art. You are not an assembly line product, mass-produced without thought. You are a custom-designed, one-of-a-kind, original masterpiece.”

“God never wastes anything,” Rick wrote “He would not give you abilities, interests, talents, gifts, personality, and life experiences unless he intended to use them for his glory. By identifying and understanding these factors you can discover God’s will for your life.”

The Psalmist exclaimed, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14). Yes. You. Are.

Each of us has been given our own unique set of skills, talents, and abilities. No two people are completely alike. We each have our own specific niche in life. Our individual area of expertise. Our own approach to ministry.

We understand that in the animal kingdom, God created each kind differently. Some fly. Some swim. Others run or crawl. Each has a purpose in God’s creative plan. The same is true with human beings. And it is especially true in the Kingdom of God.

Churches have made the mistake of trying to get everyone to do everything. Some folks are cut out for public work. Others do better privately. Not everyone can be a pastor or a preacher. Not everyone has the talent to lead singing. Or the skill to teach a Bible class. But before we label some with a gray dot, let’s remember that each one has a place to fill and a role to fulfill.

There are no “big preachers” or “little preachers” in the Kingdom of God. Just preachers. There are no “big Christians” or “little Christians. Just Christians. Just folks discovering their purpose, using their God-given gifts, and functioning in the ministry for which God made them.

While people may label others with gold stars or assign them gray dots, remember that you are made by God. Loved by God. And put here for God’s purpose to glorify Him.

You are important. You have worth. Value. Dignity. And significance.

You. Are. God’s. Workmanship.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

4 Comments

Filed under Word of the Week

4 responses to “Word of the Week: Workmanship

  1. Dorthy Torno

    Thank you for the reminder of that book. We started reading it to Trey in 1999. Everyone should be told how valuable they are in God’s eyes. Ken, you are valuable to me and all those who know and read your posts or hear your lessons.
    Thank you for your work!

    • Thanks Dorthy.
      I appreciate that very much. If I can add a little value to your life I’m glad because you and Tim have added so much value to our lives in the short time we’ve known you.
      God bless.

  2. I preached a sermon entitled “God’s Masterpiece” once from this text. Good post! I plan to share it. Thanks.

  3. Pingback: Weekly Recap: September 20-25 | ThePreachersWord

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