The Limits of “God Made Me This Way”

So admittedly this post has a limited audience.  Some of you will say, “Yeah, the limit to ‘God made me this way’ is that there’s no god!” Well, alright, then.  But for those of you who in some way credit (blame?) God for how you ended up, I wanted to share a point of concern.

My daughter absolutely loves Veggie Tales.  (No, that’s not the point of concern, but ask me about Blue Clues later …)  One of the themes running through this series of cartoons in which talking vegetables teach Christian values (no, talking vegetables aren’t the point of concern, either) is that God makes each of us special.  Hey, I like that.  I want my daughter not only feeling like she’s worth something, but tying that worth to her understanding of herself as God’s creation — ultimately, as His image-bearer.  I like my daughter acknowledging that God made her, that He did a good job during the process, and that she has His love and care as her Creator.

Yes, I know we don’t have arms or legs.  It’s cool.  God made us this way.


But the truth is that there are also things about my daughter that I don’t want her to be particularly proud of, or to accept as part of how God made her.  Children aren’t angels (despite the awkward ceramics you’ve seen in Christian bookstores).  She can be disobedient.  She can be selfish.  She can have a vast array of nasty attitudes.  And God didn’t make her that way.
Scripture teaches that none of us are exactly what God intended us to be.  I’ve written about what it means to be human in another entry on this blog.  The reality is that we are flawed and broken versions of the masterpieces God intended us to be — not completely flawed and broken, and certainly not irreversibly so, but flawed and broken nonetheless.
Except for Sally, who had the terrible misfortune of being created during God’s brief cubist phase.
What all this means is that there will be things about us — character flaws, areas of sin in which we struggle, natural (for even our very nature is flawed and broken now) urges and desires we wrestle with — that we cannot accept and simply say, “God made me this way.”  In fact, it is horrific slander, even blasphemy, to do so!
We must be willing to distinguish between the image of God we bear and the cracks that mar it.  We must be willing to fight hard against the cracks, knowing that we cannot possibly make the necessary repairs, but that repairs are actively underway in those who have trusted Jesus and received His Spirit.  
And the next time someone says, “Well, God made me this way,” ask them (politely!), “How do you know that?” 

(More articles at www.ThinkingThroughChristianity.com)
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