Sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture. Let me give you an example…
A few years ago, while I was in the middle of a studio project with a client, I offered to play some of my unfinished work for him. At the time, I had only a rough sketch of what would eventually become a song– some basic tracks, a very rough lead vocal– I don’t even think I had completed the lyrics to the song. It was just the bare bones of what I needed to continue work on it.
Before playing him the track, I gave the usual disclaimer that musicians always give: “Remember, this is something I just started. It’s NOT, by any stretch, the finished product, but I think there’s plenty of potential here.” Then, I hit PLAY.
Now, before I tell you about his reaction, let me give you a little insight into my musician friend. He was maybe 15-20 years younger than me, and he had not been writing songs for very long. In fact, the sessions in my studio were his first sessions in what would be considered a “real” studio, so there wasn’t much musical experience there. He was a guy who took his “art” VERY seriously. So seriously that he rarely seemed very satisfied or happy with it. He was pretty talented, though, so I was curious to find out what he thought of the song so far.
The song wasn’t even halfway through playing when he began to point out the flaws.
“It seems incomplete.”
“Are these all the lyrics?”
“Where are all the other background vocals?”
“I think this part is too loud, and that part is too soft.”
“Are you not going to use any effects on the song?”
It was as if he didn’t hear my disclaimer at all. In fact, he even went so far as to offer to get behind the mic and “fix” what I had done! He was so focused on the flaws and what he could do to fix them that he didn’t hear the good stuff. He didn’t see the big picture.
I think we do that a lot with each other, don’t you?
I believe that people… ALL people… are”works in progress”. We’re all unfinished art that has yet to be completed by our God, a magnificent artist.
Sure, we have flaws, and sometimes those flaws do need to be corrected. If something is truly WRONG with me, or I’m acting in a way that is contrary to a child of God, I hope that someone will love me enough to tell me the truth about what I’m doing wrong so that I can correct it. The problem arises when we look at each other and see only the flaws without seeing the beauty of the person inside.
There are plenty of things that make each of us unique. We’re all different colors, shapes, and sizes, but we are all works of art in our own ways. Often, God will use these differences (which some of us might consider to be flaws) and create something even better. You never can tell how God may use your “flaws”!
By the way, not long ago I caught up with my young musician friend. It turns out that he has recently had to face some very harsh (and rather unfair) criticism about his music by someone who just “didn’t get it.” This caused him to re-evaluate the way he speaks to others. He told me that he now looks for 3 positive things in every situation to point out before ever saying anything negative. As a result, he seems a lot happier with his music and his life now!
Learn to see the ART in others. You will make their lives better, and YOURS will be better, too!