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::Devotional:: ‘Treasure In Jars of Clay’

November 30, 2009

Everybody has an instinctual desire to feel safe.  We want to be secure, protected, out of harm’s way.  In some cases that desire to feel safe can cause us to create a false sense of security.  For example, people who have a fear of going outside (called Agoraphobia) create a sense of security by attempting to remain inside all the time.  In a similar way, we as Christians often create a sense of security by withholding authenticity about our lives from other people, especially other Christians.  Why do we do that?  Well, just like a person with Agoraphobia fears going outside, we have a fear of being rejected when people find out we are struggling in life and what we might be struggling with.  Yet at the same time, the scriptures tell us that we are to embrace our imperfection because it in fact is what reveals the work of Jesus within us, making it visible to other people.  

Paul wrote that we are jars of clay containing the treasure of Jesus Christ within us.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”  2 Corinthians 4:7

I have been guilty more than once of putting an ornamental and decorative covering of “everything is fine, I’m doing great” over my life so that people would see something acceptable and attractive rather than seeing the disfigured and imperfect jar of clay life underneath.  It’s a facade that many of us put on don’t we?

Because of fear, we’ve erected a facade of secrecy and called it safety.  Churches have aided and abetted this illusion by producing environments where no one really wants to know what’s going on in your soul.  We’re content when people show up, give, and serve.  If you have persona problems, don’t tell us – see a therapist.  Jim Kallam – Risking Church.

So why is that so bad?  Well like Paul wrote, the treasure of Jesus Christ dwells within imperfect jars of clay “to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”  When we put up our facade or place an ornamental covering over our jar of clay, we cover up the light of Christ that is supposed to shine vibrantly through us and attract the world.

I’ve found that there is something magnetic when another Christian opens up their heart and speaks honestly about the victories as well as the defeats they are experiencing in their daily life.  I can relate to that because that is exactly what I experience.  In fact, seeing the Holy Spirit stir in the life of another believer stirs the Holy Spirit within me.  Their authenticity encourages me to be authentic because I do not fear rejection but rather I sense acceptance.  We are united in and through the living power of Jesus Christ within us.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tracey permalink
    December 30, 2009 4:16 pm

    Tony, why is this concept so hard to grasp? We enjoy it when the preacher is honest and shares his struggles and we say “he’s real, I like him” but yet we don’t want to do the same for others to see us. The one thing that might reach a lost soul. Thanks for your continued hunger for knowledge and sharing it with anyone who will listen( or read).

  2. December 30, 2009 4:36 pm

    I can’t speak for everyone but it’s hard for me because I am fearful of being seen as a failure or even a fraud because of my struggles. Yet at the same time to think that anyone would be able to live a life free of struggles and failure as a believer is pure foolishness. I’m learning that refusing to be honest about my struggles and how the Lord is working with me in the midst of them is preventing my life from giving Him the glory and honor due Him.

    Thanks for reading this crazy blog … 🙂

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