Should the Yellow Brag...?

I sit down each morning to study the Bible. It's a time of quiet communion with the Lord Jesus. Most mornings I smile and pray and get on with my work, whether it's cleaning up the kitchen and making the bed, or planning a class and writing my book. But today...well, today was a show stopper.

Today I studied Romans 15:17-18. Naturally I had to look at this in context, so I can't say it was just those verses, but that's where it started. It reads:

Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God. For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me...

The writer, the apostle Paul, is pointing out that he can only brag about what Jesus has done through him, not about what he has done for God. That emphasis really got my attention.

It's not about my service, not even if what I'm doing is right or good or important or holy. It's not about my success as an artist, not about how I serve at church, not about my home--not about MY anything. I'm merely the tool Jesus uses sometimes to do things.

I thought about the pastels I use. They're tools that I pick up to make a painting. I have a lot of pastels, each one a slightly different color. I love every one of those colors! They make the painting--but just because I love them and used them to make it, do they have bragging rights?

Would it be right for that yellow on the wall to say, "Look! I'm the perfect color for a wall in sunlight. Deborah used me to do that. It's a privilege"? No, it has no right to brag about the painting. It didn't make it. In fact, it could really only understand the little part it plays, not the total painting.

I know the metaphor is a bit inept and breaks down, but it helped me to see that I need to do what Christ empowers me to do and not become focused on my little part in it. I love my work. I enjoy being an artist, taking care of my home, serving my church. But what brings me to my knees is what Jesus has done in my home, at my church, and through my work.

I love painting and teaching art, and if some of you are finding some enjoyment in the paintings or learning a few things, that's just great. Please enjoy and learn. But please also know that the lesson and the joy itself has come from Jesus. I can't take credit for that. It would be like the yellow bragging about the sunlight...


  1. Thanks Deborah for your insight and the Bible study this morning. I enjoyed it.

  2. Thanks Deborah for the interesting insight, i should go back to reading my bible regularly. Lovely painting too!

  3. :) I'm glad my morning sudy and the insights that came from it have touched you both!

    Karen, thanks for the encouragement.

    Joni, I hope you do get back into reading the Bible regularly again. I call it my "vitamin B"!

    Oh, and the painting is one from a few years back called 'Evening Complements.' Thanks for mentioning it. I've always personally liked it a lot.

  4. Deborah,
    Every time I become too self absorbed (this can happen over a period of months), and have long periods of getting on with my (there is that ‘my’ word again!) life without communicating with Jesus or being mindful of his teachings…. Very peculiar roads bring me back to him. Your post today is just such a road. I scratch my head in disbelief that I have been so focussed on…me……and art…art…art… for the past few months. But am in wonder of being shown the right path once again.

  5. Maggie, the right path is a blessing beyond compare, isn't it?Just be assured that Jesus is using YOU to encourage me, too!


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