Offer Them Christ
The Weblog Of J.F. Howard

We Are All Crack Pots!

            I was having a conversation one time with a person who knows me well, and has known me for a long time. In the course of the conversation the person began to remind me of my flaws (which are indeed numerous!) and question whether or not I had the right heart to be a pastor in the Christian church. As we discussed my various shortcomings I had to agree that this person was correct. I am a deeply flawed person (even after 3 decades of following Jesus Christ).

            So I began to ponder, does being a flawed person with serious shortcomings disqualify one from God’s grace, or does it make one an ideal candidate to receive it? Does significant weaknesses prevent a person from pointing other weak people toward God’s healing strength?

            As we talked I thought of all the flawed people that God has used to accomplish His purposes throughout history. And then I remembered Jesus. He was not flawed, but the people of His day sure thought He was! In the Gospel of Mark there is the record of this incident:

           20 One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat. 21 When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said.
22 But the teachers of religious law who had arrived from Jerusalem said, “He’s possessed by Satan, the prince of demons. That’s where he gets the power to cast out demons.” {Mark 3:20-22}

            When people saw Jesus, some perceived serious flaws. His family thought He was crazy and the religious leaders of His day thought He was “possessed by Satan.” And yet, what Jesus accomplished during His short ministry on earth, still touches people today, 2,000 years later.

            After our conversation, I remembered a story I heard some years ago:

A water carrier in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and 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 master’s house.  The cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the water carrier delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end 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 carrier one day by the stream.” I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

Why?” asked the water carrier. “What are you ashamed of?”

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half as much water because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s 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 water carrier felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.

But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the water carrier for its failure.

The water carrier said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side?

That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.

For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

            There are some profound lessons for me in this story:

One, everyone is flawed.

Two, we are all cracked pots.

Three, if we allow it, God can use our flaws to make this world a more beautiful place.

            In 2 Corinthians 4, the Apostle Paul (certainly one flawed individual himself) proclaimed the “Gospel for Crack Pots:”

           7 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}

            I can admit it: I am a fragile clay jar, with many flaws and weakneses. Yes, I am a crack pot. I think you are too. But remember, it is the crack pots that God fills with the great treasure of His redeeming love.

            So the next time you feel ashamed of your flaws and weaknesses, and wonder if you are good enough to receive God’s grace or that God could possibly use a crack pot like you, remember this: Jesus knows exactly who we are, and what we are made of, and He is not ashamed of us. In fact, the Bible says He freely gave of Himself to make crack pots like us part of His family:

           11 So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. {Hebrews 2:11}

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One Response to “We Are All Crack Pots!”

  1. This is beautifully illustrated. well done! I heard a story about a candle that was placed under a perfect pot and the light couldn’t shine through. A cracked pot was then placed over the candle and the light was shown though its imperfections. Then the person explained; this is how God uses our imperfections to shine His light to the hurt and lost people around us. That’s what caused me to research this topic. This is the first time i heard the water bearer story, thanks. I am so glad i found this site.


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