Acceptance of one’s self is the essence of the moral problem and the acid test of one’s whole outlook on life. That I feed the beggar, that I forgive the insult, that I love the enemy in the name of Christ, all of these are undoubtedly great virtues. But what if I should discover that the least among them all, the poorest of beggars, the most impudent of all offenders, yes, the very fiend himself, that these are in me, and I myself stand in need of my own kindness. That I myself am the enemy that must be loved. What then? ~Carl Jung
Are you the enemy that must be loved? How many of us, when we look in the mirror, are truly happy with what we see? If we’re honest, most of us are obsessed with our faults. We even have trouble accepting compliments from others because we feel so inadequate that we can’t believe we will ever be “good enough”. The blemishes go far beyond the surface. We perceive them to be deep rooted flaws, and most of us do our very best to make sure that they stay covered. After all, isn’t it the “cardinal sin” to admit that you have a weakness?
God’s Word says that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” ( Psalm 139:14), so why do so many of us take issue with God because we feel that He some how “messed up” while writing the blueprints for what would become our life? Romans 9:20 says, “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” The Bible refers to us as vessels because God intended for us to carry, within ourselves, His glory. There is a candle within each of us that becomes ignited by God’s glory the moment we surrender our hearts to His will.Imagine with me two vessels, both equal in shape and size. One of these vessels is in brand new condition, polished to perfection. The second vessel is used. You can tell it has been through many trials and abuses, as it has many cracks . In fact, it looks as if it has been broken and glued back together again.Which vessel can you identify with? The second? Me, too.
Now imagine we were to put a candle inside each vessel. If we light the candle in the first vessel, not much happens. In fact, we can’t see anything different at all. Just a vessel with a flame inside. But when we light the candle in the second vessel, a beautiful thing happens. Light begins to pour out of the cracks. The vessel becomes aglow with an exceptional pattern of radiance.See, it is through our blemishes and cracks that the light of Christ shines the brightest. God has allowed there to be cracks in our vessels because it is in our weaknesses that He is strong ( 2 Corinthians 12:9). No matter what caused our cracks ( abuse, rejection, disease, divorce, addiction, abortion, the list goes on), God’s ability to shine through them is the same. The cracks in our vessel are really God’s little trademarks of authenticity, guaranteeing that we are genuine. Out of that authenticity flows His love and grace, into the lives of others. It is most often through our weaknesses and cracks that Christ communicates His love and redemption to others. They see His light shining through our blemishes and they are convinced that He can make them a vessel of honor too .(2 Tim. 2:21)So next time you look in the mirror and see cracks and blemishes, praise God that it is through those flaws and imperfections that His glory radiates, bringing hope to others. Thank God for cracked pots!