As an artist, one of the things I hate is when someone sees a painting I’m working on and comments about it. I totally understand why they do it; things just don’t look right to them. Even though they’re not artists, they inherently know enough about composition because they have seen God’s masterful compositions in nature; so they feel they know enough to express their opinion. What they don’t understand is what I have in mind for the finished painting and what steps are still necessary to get the end result. Another artist will see the same piece and give comments from an understanding of this process. They will say things like, “Tell me where you are going with this piece.”
Character is to our life what composition is to art. In art a great composition paves the way for a masterpiece , composition reveals potential. In your life character is composition likewise reveals potential. Therefore it is imperative that we are continually developing our character and ultimately our potential. Fortunately there are several things we can do to co-operate with God when it comes to character development.
1. Recognize Who Designed Your Life As A Masterpiece
It’s important to nail down who is the designer of your life in order to fully understand how your Life Palette affects the composition of your life. Many would argue they are the designers of their lives, are in complete control, and God has nothing to do with their destiny and future. Should the composition of their lives represent a masterpiece, they alone would receive the credit. Interestingly, should their lives turn out to be a forgery, they equally believe someone else should get the blame: be it God, parents, or even the government.
There is a difference between composition and design; still, the two are often referred to as one and the same among many artists, or at the very least the lines between them are blurred. The clarity of the two, though, is important for the development of your Life Palette. One refers to the bigger picture of your life in relationship to God as your creator: a destiny and plan for your life; the other being what you do with it and how you limit or entrust Him.
Design, by definition, is creating something from nothing; whereas composition is taking elements that already exist and arranging them for balance, or what artists feel is a balanced picture. God alone is the designer of your life. He’s the one who has created something from nothing and given you a good, pleasing and hopeful destiny.
2. Trust God’s Decisions For Your Life
There are many decisions an artist makes to create a great composition: the size of different shapes, the placement of them, and determining the focal point. Some of the questions an artist will ask before creating a composition are, “What do I want to do with the subject?” “What is the desired end result?” “What am I trying to express?” A great artist never just puts something in a composition simply because it’s there. They have a reason. It’s all a part of their plan to create a masterpiece. Every decision made regarding composition is a reflection of the artist’s personality and desires. Trust God’s design decisions for your life with obedience and with joy. Quit whining, complaining and making excuses. Celebrate God design decision for your life as His masterpiece!
3. Align Your Life With His Word
The reality is that we often are trying to align His word with our lives. If we are going to progress toward living our full potential we need to raise our lives up to the level of His Word rather than bringing His word down to the wherever we are living.
If God is the artist and I am His masterpiece, it makes sense that I need to trust He is using all things toward the end result He desires; “For we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28) Yet you may be thinking, “Well, if God is the artist who is working everything to fulfill His purpose, then what part do I have regarding the composition of my life?” There are several things that are of our choosing on our Life Palette we give God to work with: character, priorities, choices, focus and simplicity. These things are to our lives what composition is to painting. The more clearly we align these areas of our lives with God’s Word, the more He is able to compose our lives according to His plan and design.
Put these 3 steps into practice today and you will progress toward living in the full potential God created in you as His masterpiece!
(Adapted from my book Life Palette, Chapter 5, Good, Bad And Ugly)