But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand. – Isaiah 64:8
In the 20th Century, the myth of the “Good Person” became a prevalent mind set for many people to include Christians. It started with God knows my heart (true) and HE knows I am a good person (maybe, maybe not). These may not always be biblical statements but it has become a rally cry for many individuals. In reality, the real focus is not about whether a person is good or bad but whether or not Jesus has forgiven them of their sins and have they accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. Those are the two minimal requirements for following Christ. This belief also leads to a strange acceptance in regard to evangelism. Over the course of years, I have heard many people say something akin to the statement; I don’t have to say anything about Jesus. People can see it in my life. Really?
To start, the arrogance of that assertion is mind blowing. To feel that anyone could look at your life and feel that people see Jesus is more than a little disconcerting. All of us need to lead a life that is an example of Christ’s life and love. However, we need to understand our own earthly limitations. Not everyone who sees your good works is interpreting it with the same zeal you are. Many may even see it as conceited and arrogant.
This is not an insult to people who are trying to help others but we must stay realistic. As Paul said, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) We have all missed the mark in our daily lives. We have fallen short of the glory of God. None of us are perfect and none of us should expect to be.
That is why having other’s focus on the Potter and not on the clay is important. It is paramount to our belief systems. Everything a Christian does, either good or bad, is a reflection on Christ. It is a fact that we cannot escape. Christ sets an incredible standard for all of us who believes. He is the Son of the Living God and our devotion to him should not be taken lightly. We should cherish the idea and as Christ has said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 KJV)
The focus of our life should always be on our Savior. Everything we do should be focused on our relationship with the Lord. A believer should be aware of the fact that everything we do should reflect positively on Christ. That can be tough because we all have our weaknesses. We have our bad days. We have our shortcomings but most importantly we have Jesus to see us through.
What is also important to understand is that reflecting positive on Christ is not always about being popular in the world. If you go with the flow and make Jesus the God of the secular world, you are not honoring our God. As a matter of fact, many concept of the modern church run counter intuitive to beliefs the Church has held for over 2000 years. Being “hip” and understanding and accepting a Cross, without sacrifice is not an honor. It is a cheap way out. It destroys the message of a living God. There is always conflict with a belief system when it is real. Christianity is no different.
It is how we handle those conflicts that matter. Do we handle them with love or do we lash out? Do we stand firm or do we wither away. Do we show the balance of love and understand while not bending the knee to the modern world? All of the questions and concern are important to our quest of living in a Christian world. All the questions are important and necessary. But all choices must honor God, the Father, and God, the Son and God, the Holy Ghost. No other answer is acceptable.
Everyone needs to focus on the Creator and not the created. It is good to be a good person but it is better to trust in the Lord and keep your eyes on the prize. It is through Jesus Christ that we become the person we need to be.
Look at the Potter and do not focus on the clay
Look at the Builder and marvel at his wonder
Don’t see the cracks of my earthly imperfections
My life is pale compared to the Father and the Son
Look at the Potter because it is He who holds the glory
It is He who truly shows the way
Focus on the beauty of creation never ceasing
That rides over the mountains and lights a winter day – JBS