The creation vs the creator. God is like a painter, and we are like his painting. When we follow his strokes, his ideas, and his plan, we become beautiful, we become what we were created to be. Though, unlike the painting, we have a will. We can choose to be how he has created us to be, or we can choose to smear and rub the paint all over. Love is the choice He has made in painting us, putting all of His thought and expertise into us. Love is also the choice of us to submit our will to His, and when we do, He is able to make us into a masterpiece.
Also, when I look at a painting, I care about the paint that was used, the brush that was used, and the practical application, but furthermore, I am much more interested in the person who painted it. I wonder where his inspirations come from, what his experiences are, how he became gifted in the area of art, and who he is. In the same way, I strive to be far more interested in God Himself than His creation. In fact, my care for the creation comes from my care for the creator.
The painting shows me things about the painter. It is an outward expression of his moods, his feelings, and his muses. So, the painting is important, quite important, in fact so important that the painter would not be a painter without his painting. This is why God created us, to love Him.
Another break down in this analogy is that, because we have a free will, our lives do not always reflect Christ. The painting, in the natural, will be exactly how the painter paints it. If we choose anything other than Him, we have ruined the painting. If even one part of the painting is not like the painter designed it, it is no longer His painting. It’s incomplete, unsatisfied. Fortunately our painter has a love and mercy that endure forever, and He is ever patient with us to choose Him and His will.
We are God’s creation, but because Adam fell to sin, we have become subject to sin, to flaws. However, because Jesus died for us, we can be made new again, as if we had never sinned. The painting can be fixed, all we must do is focus on the painter and allow Him to work in and through us.