A Cracked Pot
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on one end of a pole that he carried across his neck. One pot had a crack in it. 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 two full years, the bearer daily delivered only one and a half pots of water to his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, but the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its 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 bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
“I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack causes water to leak out all the way to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you do not get full value from your efforts.”
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot. Compassionately, 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 cracked pot noticed the sun warming the beautiful wildflowers along the path. This cheered it some, but it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load again. So, again, it apologized.
The water bearer said, “Did you notice the flowers were only on your side of the path? That is because I knew about your flaw and took advantage of it. I planted flowers, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you water them. For two years I have picked beautiful flowers to decorate the master’s table. Without you being just as you are, he would not have this beauty in his house.”
The moral of this story: Each of us has unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. But it is the cracks and flaws that make our lives together so interesting and rewarding. Consider each person individually and look for his or her good traits. There is a lot of good out there. There is a lot of good in you!
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Psalm 139:14). —Author Unknown
Seven Great Objectives of Love
- Love for God (1 John 4:7–8).
- Love for Christ (1 Peter 1:8).
- Love for God’s commands (1 John 5:3).
- Love for the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
- Love for brethren (1 John 3:14, 23; 4:11).
- Love for souls (1 Peter 4:8).
- Love for His appearing (2 Timothy 4:8).—Stauffer, Give Ye Them to Eat Sermon Outlines
Do’s and Don’ts of Christian Dating
- Do surrender your dating aspirations to God.
- Don’t get involved with an unbeliever unless he has a teachable spirit.
- Do understand the purpose of dating.
- Don’t get physical.
- Do honor God every step of the way.
- Don’t develop emotional attachment without marriage.
- Do seek parental input.
- Don’t make promises you don’t plan on keeping.
- Don’t rush to the altar. —Author Unknown
Relationships Are Like Old Barns
A farmer was devastated when his barn’s roof fell in. Someone asked him, “What happened?” He explained that the roof had been leaking so long that the timbers just rotted through. One’s initial thought is why did he let the roof get so bad before fixing it?
The farmer’s response: “Well it just seemed when the weather was good, there weren’t no need for it, and when it rained, it was too wet to work on it.”
Relationships are much like that old barn. Could it be that some of our relationships are on the brink of collapsing because efforts have not been made all along to strengthen their infrastructure? What is likely to happen to them eventually?
How many marriages will fall apart tomorrow because, while at the moment things are good, constant efforts are not made to strengthen the resolve to love one another “until death do us part”? (Ephesians 5:23–33).
How many children will leave home never to communicate with father and mother again because at this moment fathers are not involved in their children’s lives, and mothers are not instilling discipline in them to grow up to be faithful Christians? (Ephesians 6:1–4).
While today may be a good day, don’t forget that to-morrow a storm could come. Want good, healthy relationships? Commit regularly to the little things so that when the big issues arise, the roof does not collapse.—Neil Richey