But my favorite is one that might actually be considered a slam by some. In fact, that’s pretty much the point and why I like it; there’s a whole lesson wrapped up in this one nickname.
I’m a jar of clay. Not an elegant Belleek pitcher, not a gleaming pewter bowl. Heck, I’m not even a plastic “sippy cup”; I’m a dang clay pot.
Christ has poured into me all these incredible gifts – the knowledge of the gospel, the gift of His Holy Spirit, His inspired Word, the promise of eternal life. And He wants me to share these gifts with others from a damaged, leaking vessel!
In that regard, I’m just like every other flawed, inadequate, insecure Christian out there. We’re all entrusted with God’s best and we’re all woefully inadequate to handle it on our own.
To be honest, Christians can be hard on God’s reputation.
- The Christian leader sailing along in ministry mere inches above the jagged reef of his ego? Jar of clay.
- The church member cringing with shame and fearing exposure of a sordid past? Jar of clay.
- The Sunday School teacher yelling at his or her own kids on the way home from church? Jar of clay.
- The divorced man or woman longing for restoration, yet feeling disqualified from Christian ministry? Jar of clay.
- The Christian author penning inspirational books and blogs while toying with secret sin? Jar of clay.
Wouldn’t you think He’d want to safeguard His holy image in something a little sturdier and a little more – I don’t know, worthy? – than a crumbly, fragile jar made basically of mud?
And yet I love that image.
Somehow here we are, 2,000+ years after Jesus’ return to His Father, and the church is still alive and vital, and people are still coming to saving faith in Christ. How did that happen?
He delegated to us the job of taking His message of hope to a lost world and none of us is worthy to be His image-bearer. Why would He do that? He did it to show the world that “the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
God is the one achieving the impossible, using jars of clay (us) to carry His life-giving truth. It’s only because He indwells us through His Holy Spirit that it gets done.
So yeah, I’m happy to be called a jar of clay – or a “cracked pot”, as humorist Patsy Clairmont says – in the hands of a forgiving, loving and creative God.
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Image attribution: http://www.truthforlife.org/blog/wallpaper-jars-clay
- Maybe This Will Help - February 10, 2017
- I’m Firing Olivia Pope - January 24, 2017
- I’m crossing some things off my list this year - January 11, 2017
- I learned a new word - November 30, 2016
- The best question I’m asking myself these days - July 18, 2016
- A tragic story with a tender twist - May 17, 2016
- Gosh, people are a mess - May 12, 2016
- I’ll take the red carnation, thank you – revisiting an odd tradition - May 2, 2016
- The surprising thing about “weakness” - April 20, 2016
- The holiness of a four-way stop - April 13, 2016