Some time ago we joined the Farm Quality Assured scheme. An initial assessment, with a helpful inspector, confirmed what we needed to do.
A kind neighbour re-concreted part of a yard. Another helped us spread some manure. Another still gave us a blue plastic barrel, which we cut to make a rough and ready disinfectant container. With photographic evidence sent, we received word that we were now Farm Quality Assured.
I have thought a lot about that certification ever since: Quality Assured. To have that seal of approval feels good. It reaches way beyond the few extra pence a kilo our beef heifers are now worth.
The truth is, we all like to have a seal of approval, don’t we? To have our own personal sense of being ‘quality assured’. We all like to think that we count; that what we do matters. That our having lived has had a purpose - even a lasting one.
So how can we know that we are quality assured?
God explains in His word, the Bible, that He has made each of us in His image, or likeness. This amazing fact is so important it is recorded in the Bible’s very first chapter: “God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).
To be made in God’s image gives every single one of us immense significance, for it means, among many mind-blowing things, that we have been made to have a living relationship with our Maker, God Himself. So, simply because we have a ‘made in God’s image’ stamp upon our lives, we really do matter. This is our quality assurance.
However, we do not feel like that is the case. Instead, we all struggle to feel that our lives matter. Why is that, if God’s image is written into our DNA? The reason is because ever since Adam and Eve turned their backs on God, and we followed sinful suit, God’s image in us has been tarnished and our relationship with Him has been broken. We feel like our quality assured stamp is blurred and faded.
The result of living apart from our loving Creator, who has given us infinite worth, is that we now look for other ways to make our lives count. We may look to praise from our peers, love from our families, or the sense of satisfaction in a job on the farm well done. Deep down, however, there is still this gnawing sense of uncertainty in our hearts. We may not know it, but it stems from the fact that our quality assured stamp from our Maker is blurred and faded.
But when we turn to God’s Son Jesus and trust in Him, and not our own achievements, God promises that we “have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:10). From this moment, we have God’s quality assurance. For our relationship with our loving Creator is mended, we have the promise that God is changing us to be more like Him, and on the day when Jesus returns even our body will be renewed!
Quality Assured. We all need it – and through trusting in Jesus alone, and not ourselves, we will have it.