Have you ever watched the movie Amadeus? It’s primarily about Mozart’s rise to fame as a remarkable composer of his time. It’s also about Antonio Salieri, a contemporary composer of Mozart, who wondered how God could promote and give talent to such a morally depraved man. Haven’t we all wondered this at one time or another? Why do some of the most unchristian people, produce some of the richest or most culturally advanced creations? Why can we see God in the most ungodly places and people?
Timothy Keller addresses this in Chapter Ten of this Summer’s reading selection, Every Good Endeavor. In Jeremiah 31:31-34, we learn the God’s law is written on the heart of every human being. Keller says it like this, “People have innate consciences that are preloaded with senses of honesty, justice, love, the Golden Rule, and so on.” We are all God’s creatures and therefore his “common grace” is distributed through each of us. Every good and perfect thing in nonbelievers and believers alike is simply God revealing His truth through each of us. “Deep in our hearts’ operating systems, God has imprinted his story…. All people hold these beliefs at some level, even if their conscious, intellectual, culturally conditioned “second-order beliefs” deny them utterly.”
I work with all sorts of people, in the office and across the world. I work with both Christians and non-Christians and I find the glory of God in both. I think this is important to understand as a Christian because it is easy to insulate ourselves into our Christian enclaves and miss the sheer magnitude of God’s grace and gifts found in others, even in the non-believers. God is working in all of us.
Unlike Salieri, I actually find this revelation comforting. Instead of wondering how God could imbue a non-believer with goodness, talent, or riches, I’m extremely thankful He does. Imagine a world where God’s grace only touched a rare few. Imagine the dire straits, more so than it already is, the world would be in then? The reason it is not worse is because of God’s common grace weaves in and out of all of our lives.
This common grace also gives us a common language that our heart’s speak, which allows us to “freely and humbly work with others who may not share our faith but can be used greatly by God to accomplish enormous good.” I know in my work, I see goodness, and even greatness, in my non-believing staff and clients, and whether they know it or not, that talent is serving to advance God and His good works.
This week, I encourage you to notice how God is woven into all of us. How He is written on all hearts and how, when we recognize the glimpses of His justice, wisdom, truth and beauty in the most unlikely places and people, we can celebrate Him each and every time.