Joel Osteen — See Yourself as a Masterpiece
I want to talk to you today about "Seeing yourself as a masterpiece". Too many people go around feeling wrong on the inside. They don't really like who they are. They think, "If I was just a little taller. If I had a better personality. If my metabolism was a little faster. Or if I just looked like her, then I would feel good about myself".
No, when God created you, he went to great lengths to make you exactly like he wanted. You didn't accidentally get your personality. You didn't just happen to get your height, your looks, your skin color, your gifts. God designed you on purpose to be the way you are. You have what you need to fulfill your destiny. If you needed to be taller, God would have made you taller. If you needed to be a different nationality, God would have made you that way. If you needed to look like her instead of you, you would have looked like her. You've got to be confident in who God made you to be.
In Ephesians 2:10 says: "We are God's masterpiece". That means you are not ordinary. You didn't come off an mass-produced. You were one of a kind. Nobody in this world has your fingerprints. There will never be another you. If you're going to reach your highest potential, you have to see yourself as unique, as an original, as God's very own masterpiece.
When I was in my early 20s, I was sitting on the beach in India, all alone, watching the sun set. It was a magnificent scene. The water was so blue, and as far as I could see from the right to the left, miles and miles of beach and palm trees. The sun was huge on the horizon just about to set, as I sat there, reflecting, thinking about my life, I heard God ask me something. Not out loud but just an impression down in here. He said, "Joel, you think this is a beautiful picture, do you? " I said, "Yes, God, I think this is a magnificent picture". He said, "Well, what do prized painting, my most incredible creation"? I thought about it a moment. I said, "God, it must be this sunset. This is magnificent". He said, "No, it's not this".
Earlier that year, I'd been in the rocky mountains. They were spectacular. I said, "God, I bet it's the rocky mountains". He said, "No, not that". I thought, "What could it be? The solar system, the milky way"? He said, "No, Joel, my most prized possession, the painting that I'm the most proud of is you". I thought, "Me? Couldn't be me. I'm ordinary; I'm just like everybody else". He said, "No, you don't understand. When I made the solar system, the waters, the mountains, I was proud of that. When I made you I breathed my very life into you. I created you in my own image".
Friends, you are God's most prized possession. Don't go around feeling wrong about yourself. Quit wishing you were taller, had a better personality, or looked like somebody else. You've been painted by the most incredible painter there could ever be. He stepped back and looked, said, "That was good. Another masterpiece". He stamped his approval on you. You know how in the back of our shirts most of the time there's a tag, says, "Made in America, made in China, made in Mexico". Well, somewhere on you there's a tag that says, "Made by Almighty God". Hold your head up high. You are extremely valuable. You have royal blood flowing through your veins. You are wearing a crown of favor.
When those thoughts come in the morning, telling you everything that you're not, you need to remind yourself, "I've got the fingerprints of God all over me. The way I look, the way I smile, my gifts, my personality. I know I am not average, I am a masterpiece". That's the thoughts that should be playing in our mind all day long, not, "I'm slow, I'm unattractive, I'm just 1 of the 7 Billion people on earth". No, God did not make anything average. If you have breath to breathe, you are a masterpiece.
Now, people may try to make you feel average. Your own thoughts may try to convince you that you're ordinary. Life will try to push you down and steal your sense of value. That's why all through the day you have to remind yourself who your painter is. When you dwell on the fact that Almighty God breathed his life into you, he approved you, equipped you, empowered you, then any thoughts of low self-esteem, inferiority, they won't have a chance.
A few years ago, I was in somebody's home and they have all these paintings on the wall, and to me they weren't very impressive. In fact, some of them looked like they had been painted by a child. Very abstract, modern, paint thrown here and there. But later that evening, they mentioned how they had paid over $1 million for just 1 of those paintings. I looked at it again, thought, "Wow, that is beautiful, isn't it? " come to find out, it was an original Picasso, painted by the famous artist Pablo Picasso.
What dawned on me that night is it's not so much what the painting looks like, it's who the painter is. The painting gets its value from its creator. In the same way, our value doesn't come because of what we look like or what we do or who we know. Our value comes from the fact that Almighty God is our painter.
Now, don't criticize what God has painted. Accept yourself. Approve yourself. You are not an accident. You have been fearfully and wonderfully made, and I wonder what would happen if all through the day, instead of putting ourselves down, instead of dwelling we would go around thinking, "I'm a masterpiece. I'm wonderfully made. I'm talented. I'm original. I have everything that I need". See, the enemy doesn't want you to feel good about yourself. He would love for you to go through life listening to the nagging voices reminding you of everything that you're not. I dare you to get up each day and say, "Good morning, you wonderful thing. You are fearfully and wonderfully made".
That's what David said, Psalm 139, "God, I praise you because you have made me in an amazing way. What you have done is wonderful". How many of us will be bold enough to say like David, "I'm amazing. I'm a masterpiece". Most people, those thoughts never enter into their mind. They're too busy putting themselves down, focusing on their flaws, comparing themselves to others that they think are better. No, your Painter, your Creator, says, "You're amazing, you're wonderful, you're a masterpiece".
Now, it's up to you to get in agreement with God. If you go around focused on your flaws, listening to what other people are saying, you can miss your destiny. The recording that should be playing in our mind all day long is, "I'm valuable, I'm a masterpiece, I'm a child of the Most High God".
Some of you, this is what's holding you back. Your recording is negative. There are enough people in life already against you. Don't be against yourself. Change your recording. Start seeing yourself as the masterpiece God created you to be.
I read a story about this man that died in extreme poverty. At one point, he was homeless, living on the streets, after the funeral, some of his relatives went to the rundown apartment and gathered up his belongings. He had a painting on the wall and they took it down and sold it at a garage sale. The person that bought to the local art gallery to learn more about it. Come to find out, it was extremely valuable. It had been painted back in the 1800s by a famous artist. It ended up selling at an auction for over $3 million.
That man lived his whole life in poverty because he didn't realize what he had. In the same way, every one of you has been painted by the most famous artist there could ever be. But if you don't understand your value, you go around thinking, "Well, I'm just kind of average. I'm not that talented, mistakes in life". If you let that negative recording play, just like this man, even though you have everything you need, even though you're full of potential, you'll never tap into it. That's why every morning you need to remind yourself, "I am not average. I am not ordinary. I have the fingerprints of God all over me. I am a masterpiece".
There was an article in a medical magazine, it talked about how these researchers scientifically calculated how much money the human body is worth. They added up the cost of all the enzymes, cells, tissue, organs, hormones, everything contained in the body. They concluded that an average-size person is worth $6 million. You've heard of the six million dollar man?
Today I am looking at six million dollar people. You can put your shoulders back. You can have a spring in your step. Your Heavenly Father has invested $6 million into you. The good news is you didn't think of this: $6 million is an average-size person. Some of you are worth $9 million. That's the way to look at it. You're not overweight, you're just more valuable. Jesus said to love your neighbor as you loved yourself. If you don't love yourself in a healthy way, you will never be able to love others in the way that you should, and this is why some people don't have good relationships. If you don't get along with yourself, you'll never get along with others.
We all have weaknesses, shortcomings, things that we wish were different. But God never designed us to go through life being against ourself. The opinion you have of yourself is the most important opinion that you have. If you see yourself as less than, not talented, not valuable, then you will become exactly that. You are constantly conveying what you feel on the inside. Even subconsciously, you're sending messages out. If you feel unattractive on the inside, you can be the most beautiful person in the world, but you will convey feelings of unattractiveness that's going to push people away. The problem is on the inside. You carry yourself the way you see yourself. I've seen just the opposite happen.
A few years ago, I met a young lady and, on the surface, in the natural, and I say this very respectfully, she wasn't necessarily attractive. She didn't have a lot of natural beauty, but can I tell you, on the inside she had it going on. She knew she was made in the image of Almighty God. She knew she was crowned with favor. She may have looked ordinary, but she thought extraordinary. She carried herself like a Queen. She walked like she was royalty, she smiled like she was miss America. She dressed like she was headed for the runway. She may have bought it at a secondhand store, but she wore it like it was brand new from Saks Fifth.
All I could say was, "You go, girl". What was the difference? On the inside she sees herself beautiful, strong, talented, valuable. What's on the inside will eventually show up on the outside. Because she sees herself as a masterpiece, she exudes strength, beauty, confidence.
Here's the key. People see you the way you see yourself. If you see yourself strong, talented, valuable, with it, that's the way other people will see you. That's the messages you're sending out. But if you see yourself as less than, not talented, not valuable, that's the way others will see you.
Some of you, if you would change the opinion you have of yourself, if you would quit focusing on your flaws and everything you wish was different, if you'd quit comparing yourself to somebody else that you think is better, and start loving yourself in a healthy way, being proud of who God made you to be, then as you send out these different messages, it's going to bring new opportunities, new relationships, new levels of God's favor.
This is what the Israelites did. When ten of the spies came back from the Promised Land, they saw how huge their opponents were they said to Moses, "We were in our own sights as grasshoppers and so we were in their sights". Notice, they didn't say, "Moses, those people insulted us. They called us grasshoppers, no, they went in with a grasshopper mentality. They said, "We were in our own sights as grasshoppers". That's what they conveyed.
Here's the principle at work. "And so we were in their sights". In other words, they saw us the way we saw ourselves. If you put off feelings of inferiority, people will treat you inferior, and you may feel like you have a disadvantage, like the Israelites. You don't have the size, the talent, the education. That's all right. All that matters his life into you. He created you as a person of destiny. He put seeds of greatness on the inside.
Now, do your part. Start seeing yourself as the masterpiece the scripture talks about how God has made us to be kings and priests unto him. Men, you need to start seeing yourself as a king. Women, start seeing yourself as a Queen. Start carrying yourself like royalty, not in arrogance, thinking that you're better than others. I'm talking about in humility, be proud of who God made you to be.
You are not better than anyone else, but can I tell you, you are not less than anyone else. Doesn't matter how many degrees they have, doesn't matter how important of a family they come from. No, understand, your Father created the whole universe. When he breathed his life into you, sent you to planet earth, you didn't come as ordinary. You didn't come as average. He put a crown of honor on your head. Now, start thinking like royalty, talking like royalty, dressing like royalty, walking like royalty, acting like royalty.
I was in England a few years ago and they were having a ceremony to honor the Queen. When the Queen walked in the room, you could feel the strength, the confidence, the dignity. She had her head held high, pleasant smile on her face. She waved at everyone, like they were her best friend. What's interesting is there were all kinds of important people in that room. There were presidents of other nations, world-renowned entertainers, famous athletes, scientists, some of the brightest, most talented people in the world.
And I say this respectfully, but the Queen was not the most beautiful person in the room. There were other ladies that were younger, much more beautiful, but by the way, the Queen carried herself, you would have thought she had it going on, strong, confident, secure. The Queen wasn't the wealthiest woman in the room. She wasn't the fittest, nor the most educated. A lot of people would have been intimidated, but not her. She walked in like she owned the place. Why? She knows who she is. She's the Queen. She comes from a long line of royalty. It's been ingrained in her thinking, "I'm not average. I'm not ordinary. I am one of a kind".
No doubt some mornings when the Queen wakes up, the same thoughts come to her mind that come to all of us: "You're not as beautiful as your sister, you're not as talented as your brother, you're not as smart as your co-worker. Be intimidated, you're inferior". The Queen lets that go in one ear and out the other. She thinks, "What are you talking about? Doesn't matter how I compare to others. I'm the Queen. I've got royalty in my blood. In my DNA is generations of influence, honor, prestige," and if you and I could ever just start seeing ourselves as the kings, the Queens God made us to be, we would never be intimidated again.
You don't have to be the most talented to feel good about yourself. You don't have to have the most education, the most success. When you understand your Heavenly Father breathed his life into you, you too come from a long line of royalty, instead of being intimidated, insecure about someone that you think is more important, you can do like the Queen.
Just be at ease, be kind, be confident, be friendly, knowing that you are one of a kind. Ladies, you may not be the most beautiful person but be confident, you're the Queen. Men, you may not be the most successful but stand up tall, you're the king. Not crowned by people, but a lot of times we think, "Well, Joel, I can't feel good about myself. I've got this addiction. I struggle with a bad temper. I've made a lot of mistakes in life. I sure don't feel like a masterpiece". Well, here's the key. Your value is not based on your performance. You don't have to do enough good and then maybe God will approve you.
When Jesus was being baptized by John in the Jordan river, he hadn't started his ministry yet. He had never opened one blind eye, never raised the dead, never turned water into wine. He had not performed one miracle, but a voice boomed out of the heavens and God said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. His Father was pleased with him because of who he was and not because of anything he had or had not done.
We think, "Well, if I could break this addiction then if I could read my Bible more, if I'd bite my tongue and not argue so much, then maybe I wouldn't be against myself". No, you've got to learn to accept yourself while you're in the process of changing. We all have areas we need to improve, but we're not supposed to go around down on ourselves because we haven't arrived. When you're against yourself, it doesn't help you to do better. It makes you do worse.
You may have a bad habit you know you need to overcome but if you go around guilty, condemned, thinking about all the times you've failed, the times you've blown it, that will not motivate you to go forward. That's going to cause you to do worse. You've got to shake off the guilt, shake off the condemnation. You may not be where you want to be, but you can look back and thank God you're not where you used to be. You're growing, you're making progress. Now, do yourself a big favor and quit listening to the accusing voices. That's the enemy trying to convince you to be against yourself. He knows if you don't like yourself, you will never become what God created you to be.
Genesis chapter 1, God had just created the heavens, the earth, the sea, the animals, verse 31 says: "God looked over all that he had made, and saw how it was excellent in every way". When God looks at you, he says, "You are excellent in every way". "Well, not me, Joel. I've got these bad habits. I've got some shortcomings. I've made some mistakes in the past". No, get out of that defeated mentality. You may not be perfect, but God's not basing your value on your performance, he's looking at your heart. He's looking at the fact that you're trying. You wouldn't be here if you didn't have a heart to please God.
Now quit being down on yourself. Quit living condemned and dare to believe you are excellent in every way. Our attitude should be, "Yes, I may make some mistakes. I may have some flaws and weaknesses, but I am not going to live my life guilty, condemned. I know God has already approved me. I am excellent in every way". If you're going to overcome in those areas, you have to not only stay positive towards yourself, but be bold enough to celebrate who God made you to be. Be proud of who you are.
I know people, they're good at celebrating others. They'll compliment their friends, they'll brag on a cousin, "You've got to see my neighbor. He's an awesome football player. You've got to meet my sister. She is so beautiful," and that's good. We should celebrate others. But make sure you are smart, you are talented, you are beautiful.
There is something special about you, and you can't get so caught up in celebrating others, putting them on this high pedestal to where you think, "They are so great and I'm so average. She is so beautiful and I am so plain". No, they may have more natural beauty, more talent in some area, but let me tell you, God didn't leave anybody out. You have something that they don't have. You're good at something that they're not good at, and it's fine to celebrate them and say, "Wow, look how great they are," as long as you follow it up by saying, "And you know what? I'm great too. I'm smart too. I'm talented too".
It's like this man I heard about. He was the mayor of a small town. He was in a parade, riding in a float down main street with his wife next to him. While he was waving at all the different people, he spotted his wife's former he owned and ran the local gas station. He whispered to his wife, "Aren't you glad you didn't marry him? You'd be working at a gas station". She whispered back. "No, if I'd have married him, he'd be the mayor".
See, you've got to know who you are. God breathed his life into you. You have royalty in your blood. You are excellent in every way. Now, put your shoulders back, hold your head up high. Start carrying yourself like royalty. You are not average, you are not ordinary. You are a masterpiece. Get up every morning and remind yourself who your painter is. Your value doesn't come because of who you are. It comes because of whose you are.
Remember, the most important opinion you have is the opinion of yourself. How you see yourself is how other people are going to see you. I'm asking you today to see yourself as a King, see yourself as a Queen. Not arrogantly, but in humility. Now some of you need to change the recording that's playing in your mind from "I'm slow, I'm unattractive, I'm nothing special about me". No, dare to say like David, "I'm amazing. I'm a masterpiece. I'm talented. I am one of a kind".
If you will see yourself as the masterpiece God created you to be, then you will go through life confident, secure. Your gifts and talents will come out to the full. The right people will be drawn to you, and I believe and declare you will overcome every obstacle, defeat every enemy. You will become everything God's created you to be, in Jesus' name.