“We have this treasure in jars of clay.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV
“It is always what’s on the inside that counts most, or even counts at all.”
My thoughts today are that “it’s what’s inside that counts.”
When you were preschoolers, you and Megan were playing upstairs and had been asked to be very careful around a lovely porcelain goose that Nana had by the steps. It wasn’t long before an accident happened with the goose. Rather distressed that her warning apparently had not been enough, Nana was sternly reminding you both how special the goose was to her. When she finished, your little voice said, “Nana, do you know what else is special? We are!” You were right then and still are.
Left to ourselves we are nothing special; that’s why people work so hard to convince themselves and everyone else that they are. The problem is that people are usually working on the outside, so that they will look special to others in hopes that what they see is what they will believe. That’s just cosmetic, looking better, acting pretty – but “pretty really is as pretty does.”
The latest, must-have fashion won’t make you more than you are. A showy, expensive car will not make you classy. Being seen in the right places does not mean you belong there. A fancy title won’t make you important. Nothing that is external can change who and what you are – a jar of clay, ordinary and common. “Perishable containers, earthen vessels, clay pots” that’s what Bible translations call any of us. Not very glamorous, is it? People want to be seen by others as “somethin’ special,” and you finally can be, but only when what is inside of you makes you special.
Here’s the good news. The opposite then could also be true. What you really are on the inside – the real you – is not less because some of the external shine is lacking. Jesus doesn’t choose you on His team because He needs you, but rather, because He knows how much you need Him.
“Think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him . . Christ Jesus has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-30 NIV.
Foolish, weak, lowly – not much of a résumé to brag about until you get to that last part about “wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and redemption” – that’s what you are on the inside when Jesus Christ dwells there. The first description is who you were and are without God; the last describes who you are when you invite God to live within you!
Here is Paul’s summation: “The person who wishes to boast should boast only of what the Lord has done.” 1 Corinthians 1:31 NLT. It is always what’s on the inside that counts most, or even counts at all. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV. You cannot make God less by your worst; God can make you more, much more, by placing His best in you. “This is the secret: Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in His glory. So everywhere we go, we tell everyone about Christ . .” Colossians 1:27-28 NLT. Maybe we should share the secret until it is not a secret anymore, “Christ in you, the hope of glory!”
My prayer for you today is to know confidently there is an eternal treasure in you.