Stay Malleable: The Potter is Still Forming Us

The creation account contains beautiful imagery of the Creator and the created, that of
Adam lovingly moulded from clay before being infused with a soul.

For many of us, the exquisite imagery inherent in this description has been dulled over time
and familiarity. How many times have we read or heard this and yet it no longer sparks within
us the same appreciation of God’s artistry?

Here again, a simple sentence and yet, much more: “Then the LORD God formed man from
the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a
living being.” (Genesis 2:7)

We too are but clay in the hands of a masterful potter. However, there is something
important here that we need to remember. Although it is true that God formed Adam out of
clay, it is equally true that God said Adam was good, not perfect.

Let’s face facts, Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden and then when tested,
committed that first act of disobedience; original sin. Despite having been formed out of clay,
and from Adam’s rib, humanity’s parents still had much formation to undergo.

And that applies to us too.

We are all good, but we are by no means perfect. Nor will we attain any form of perfection in
this life. Even in the next life our formation – through purgation – continues.

As I have often joked with other parents, mothers in particular, when I am praying for God to
give me patience I don’t want Him to give me opportunities to show patience to others, I just
actually want Him to give me the virtue itself so that these situations become easier for me to
deal with.

We know from experience that the process of being formed is not always easy or pleasant.
Even clay must be fired in a kiln before the object is completed. But human formation is
incredibly important.

Stina Constantine, Virtue Ministry’s founder and managing director announced several
months ago now, that the focus of our ministry would be on human formation, particularly
adult formation.

At first this might seem odd, but the truth is that each one of us is in need of formation – in
different areas or spheres – but in need none the less. Virtue Ministry then, exists to help
form others by encouraging them to grow in relationship with Jesus, in virtuous living and in
becoming the unique person that God created them to be.

I’ll bet that thought this section would be about natural talents based on that heading. Sorry
guys, I’m actually referring to the parable of the talents. It’s the one where the man goes
away on a journey and entrusts a specific number of talents to three different servants. The
men who received five and two talents increased this amount by prudent investment and toil.

The third however, buried his and was cast out into the darkness as a result. (cf. Matthew
25: 14-30)

God has, of course, loaned us talents which we are called to use in His service in ways
specific to our individual states in life. But, consider that the servants in the parable were
given the means and opportunity to grow. The first two took up this offer and were richly
rewarded as a result. The latter, however, squandered this opportunity and was essentially
left behind.

Human formation is somewhat like those talents. We can make the most of the resources
and situations in our lives to grow in virtue and holiness – expecting that this will involve
work and perhaps even unpleasantness – or we can choose to stay as we are, rooted in a
fear that renders us incapable of recognising the many invitations to relationship with God in
our lives.

The reality is that until we are fully formed we are not whole. God has shaped us to a point,
but for us to go from ‘good’ to ‘perfect’ requires an ongoing and consistent desire on our part
to love and serve Him. A love freely given to a God we cannot possibly love enough.
Don’t allow yourself to be left on the potter’s workbench, unmoulded, unshaped. Allow God
to continue to form you through the resources at your disposal. And there are many
resources – our website for instance: – to help you become the
person God made you to be!

Wife of one, mother of 8. Tackling growth in virtue one (baby) step at a time.

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