“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”
2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT
Indeed, God has blessed me with so much. Even throughout a busy day, He lets the sun shine directly on me. It finds its way through the clouds and through my window, right onto my face. These simple reminders tell me that God is with me even as I crawl through my last week of term, five tutorials and two essays. I have received grades and internships which I really cannot believe, could have been attained on my own strength.
It made me realise that the instinctive response to success, is for us to say, look at what I did, look at my success, look at me, myself and I. Yet, as Christians, we realise our weakness and brokenness. I know for sure that without God, I would not have gotten these things.
To the Corinths, Paul writes that we are but jars of clay. That magnificence and glory shining out of us, is really not from our own being or works. We have hearts of gold and light because God placed that in us.
In particular, I looked closely at the phrase ‘jars of clay’ or ‘earthen pots’, and I realised that this analogy is actually a parallel on how we should live our lives.
1. Earthen Pots
Back in those days, these pots were cheap. You could find them anywhere and everywhere, and they were used for anything. It would be used for nothing special.
In the same way, we humans have given ourselves to the world and its desires. We are willing to be used anyway just so we can get what we want.
Do you want to please your boss? Well, do as he says and write in those words into the minutes of the meeting, even though it never actually happened.
Do you want to get ahead of your friends? Well, don’t tell them that they’ve answered the question incorrectly. Don’t help them with their revision. It’s their business.
Do you want to be part of that social circle or fit in in your workplace? Then, go on and gossip. Join the crowd. Shun the girl even though you think she’s really nice.
We have given ourselves to the ways of the world. We are cheap, used and willing to be used for anything.
YET, when God puts that light into the pot, we suddenly have a different purpose! We have a new meaning in life, we have a different mission, destiny, mindset and identity.
Yes, we were worth next to nothing. In fact, we are still physically worth next to nothing, because we are decaying and dying. Yet, God has given us eternity in our hearts. He has given us life and light, through which we are worth so much, and through which we have new meaning.
Earthen pots are easily broken.
In a way, we should be like that. Easily moulded by our maker, and easily broken and humbled so as to expose the glory of God.
We are to live our lives for Him. In our weakness, God is made strong. In our brokenness, we are made whole.