Show the beautiful side.

I’ve had this artwork for a few years now, but I’m not getting much enjoyment out of looking at it. It’s kind of boring, actually.

I mean, the brown edges are nice, and there’s even a little silver detail on the top, but, to be honest, I would like this picture better if it had a few more shapes or colors.

It’s just taking up space. I guess it’s time to get rid of it. I should throw it away.

Wait! There’s something on the other side!

Wow! Now I see blues and greens and even a turtle on the bottom. It reminds me of the ocean. This must be the side the creator of the art wanted to be seen. This is the beautiful side. I like it! I’m so glad I didn’t throw this away!

There’s a word we sometimes hear in church that reminds me of this art and how it’s more beautiful after I turned it around. The word is “repent.” One definition of repent is to “turn around the other way.”

Jesus saw that people were living the wrong way. They were not treating one another with love. They were selfish and were arguing about who was the greatest. Their hearts were turned away from God, and they needed to turn back the way God intended them to be, as part of God’s good creation. So Jesus told them to repent and live a different way.

If we hurt people, or call them names, or treat them unfairly… that is not beautiful. Arguing and whining or demanding our own way are not beautiful. We were not created to show those things. If we turn our hearts around, we can show kindness, love, justice, and patience– the beautiful side that God created.

Just when it seemed the art was destined to be thrown away, turning it around gave the picture a second chance. This reminds me of Jesus’ parable of the fig tree that took up space and didn’t bear fruit. Instead of cutting it down, the tree was given another chance to be fruitful. Whew! When I repent and turn another way, I have a new chance to produce fruit and show the beautiful side God created.

Dear God, You created us, and you gave us love. Your love is beautiful. We are sorry for turning away from you. When we turn our hearts to you, then we can show your love. Amen.

I will give them a desire to know me and to be my people. They will want me to be their God, and they will turn back to me with all their heart.

Jeremiah 24:7 Contemporary English Version (CEV)


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