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Sunday, 9 June 2013

The Cracked Pot

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole that he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.
At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologise to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers on your side of the path but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path. Every day while we walk back, you've watered them. For two years, I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Well, of course, it's only a fable.  To the best of my knowledge, water pots don't speak to their bearers!  However, like many fables, it has a very important message.  I meet so many people who have a very low self-image.  Their nose is too large; their eyes are too close; they don't have a 'perfect' figure (whatever that may be!); or any of a few dozen other attributes - and that's just in the realm of the physical body.  We could go on to mention those who are unhappy with their job; where they live; the neighbours they have; etc., etc.

So what is the answer to those who suffer, perhaps for many years, from this image of themselves that is, in fact, from the evil one?  May I suggest that it is, first of all, to recognise that we are made in the very image of Almighty God?  "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (Gen 1:27). This, of course, has no reference to our physical constitution, for "God is Spirit" (John 4:24), not a physical Being (Luke 24:39; cf. Matthew 16:17). That “image” then consists of what has been described as "...spiritual qualities, in man’s mental and moral attributes as a self-conscious, rational, personal agent, capable of self-determination and obedience to moral law."

Then again, not only am I created as a spiritual being (my physical body is no more than the vehicle that my spirit uses in this life - although, for the disciple of Jesus, it is also a Temple of God the Holy Spirit, and ought to be cared for as such!), but I am also considered to be of such value to to God the Father that, in the Persona of the Son (see my book!), He paid the penalty for my every sin, as He hung on the cross at Calvary.  The beloved disciple, John, wrote: "... if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." (I John 1:7).  Note, please, two things in those few words - (a) all sin is covered - even the sins that I have not yet, in time, committed; and (b) this is conditional upon my 'walking in the light' - confessing my sin to Him, and receiving His forgiveness and salvation.

The third thing to remember, if you are a disciple of Jesus who is suffering from a low self-image, is that you are a child of the King!  "When we cry, "Abba! Father!" it is the Spirit Himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him." (Rom 8:15-17).  As I am "in Christ" (Phil.4:7, inter al), I am a joint-heir with Him; a prince in the Kingdom of God (or princess for the females!).  If knowledge like that doesn't make you walk tall, then I don't know what will!

Of course, it all depends on becoming part of the family of God.  If you are already a part of that wonderful family, then don't let the enemy keep you under a low self-image a moment longer.  If you are not - well, you know the answer!  Come to Him, now, in repentance and faith, and enter a life that will instantly raise your self-image; that will provide a purpose for your living; and that will, at the end, see you enter His presence, for eternity!

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