Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? (Romans 9:21 NAS)
One of the greatest nightmares I face as a writer is to have my written work modified beyond recognition by the editor. All through my years as a writer and journalist for many publications, my written works have seldom been edited more than a tenth of the content, and I respect the editors for that. However, on one occasion, I had a bad experience working with an editor I have never worked with before.
I was assigned by the editor to write a technology article for a trade magazine on wireless solutions. As part of the assignment, I was required to work with several corporations to find out how these solutions have helped their businesses, and to obtain quotes from them and from people of the industry. After spending many hours of hard work and conducting interviews, I painstakingly wrote the article and compiled quotes from many key people in the business world, trade associations and government bodies. I re-read my written work over and over again to self edit before I finally submitted the article to the editor. Sadly, however, the editor decided in the end that all the quotes would be lifted off to focus on an out-of-date story about wireless technologies instead! The irony of it all was the editor admitted technology was not her area of competency.
By the time the article was published, I was no longer able to recognize its content as having been written by me, except for some minor semblance. Although my name was tagged as the author of the article, I refused to acknowledge in public the article was my work. This was because I felt shamed by it and was worried the article would damage my reputation as a credible technology writer. That was the last time I worked with that editor.
Many of us have experienced circumstances similar to mine. In a corporate environment especially, many bosses take claim of the work we have done without acknowledging our contribution or participation in doing the task. We may have put in lots of effort working on the task, but sometimes we see our hard work being dumped or changed completely by our supervisors. At the end of it all, when the task gets blundered as a result of the changes, we are often blamed for it because we were the ones who started it.
Unlike the circumstances we face with editors, bosses or supervisors, we can be assured that when it comes to God 'editing' or changing our lives, it is always for our benefit that God is doing so (2 Corinthians 4:15). Our efforts put in to serve God and His people will never be wasted (Matthew 25:34-40), for our God is not One who is unfamiliar with what He is doing (1 Corinthians 3:18-20). He is the Alpha and Omega, and He knows what is before and what is after (Revelation 1:8; 22:13). He is not a man that He would unjustly take credit for what He has molded us to become, nor put the blame on us when things blunder up (Philippians 1:20). He would not force a change in us to the point of going against our free will.
It is for God’s purpose we have been made (Psalm 100:2-3), so rather than resist the ‘editing’ or molding of God in our lives (Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 18:3-4; Romans 9:20-21), let us gladly welcome Him to mold us that we may reveal more of Him and less of ourselves (John 3:30). Let us be His vessels for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work (2 Timothy 2:21). Let us not be ashamed to be identified with Him and the gospel, for in Christ and in His word is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).
So if we encounter a difficult editor, boss or supervisor the next time round, let us not fret but agree to disagree in tolerating each other's opinions without arguing (Philippians 2:14-15). Let us give all respect even when the other is unreasonable, for this finds favor if for the sake of conscience toward God we bear up under sorrows when suffering unjustly (1 Peter 2:18-19).
You O Lord are the Potter and we are the clay. Mold us therefore dear Lord to be useful vessels for You. Help us not to resist Your molding, but to willingly let You change us to become the people You want us to be. Move our hearts Lord that we may not be ashamed to be identified with You and to proclaim Your gospel.