I find it interesting how people see Christians, some are extravagant in reach and others are uninspiring, to say it politely. Some may be accurate, and others range between one end of the reality scale to the other end of myth and misinformation. Let’s be honest early in this article, Christians are people — people who have a specific worldview and are directed by certain principles.
Just like every other resident who lives on planet earth, who has the right of an opinion and certain universal responsibilities to our fellow human beings – Christians have these same natural rights and responsibilities. However, as individuals who have committed to this Christian world view, they must work out how to do life with their neighbours — daily. This is the real heart of the matter – Christians are called to live in community with others and to do it well.
The Apostle Peter knew this and encouraged his people to live faithfully in their communities (1 Peter 2:12) – spreading their good influence this way.
One can become distracted with theological and philosophical matters about belief systems and traditions – this is not the essence of this article. Today the challenge is for the Christian to come to terms with the internal tensions that co-exist and to manage them well.
In other words, how do we sincerely live godly lives in our times? An answer is found in the writings of the Apostle Paul, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this treasure.” (2 Corinthians 4:7) Paul’s point is simple enough, we are like fragile clay jars, but inside the clay jars is a light. According to Paul this light is the knowledge that “Jesus is Lord.” (2 Corinthians 4:5)
This confession that “Jesus is Lord” is rudimentary to the faith and determines how we go about living our lives daily with our neighbours. We love our neighbours, we are kind, helpful, polite, sincere, dependable, caring, respectful, among many others. This does not make the Christian better than the neighbour – it humbles, because we remember we are fragile clay jars.
One must be careful when handling fragile clay jars, though they can be beautifully painted, they can also be easily broken. The fragility of the jar however no way diminishes the value of the treasure inside the jar. This is the internal tension referred to earlier: the fragility of the clay jar and the value of the treasure within. The treasure is all important and has immense eternal value but could possibly be under valued if too much is made of the clay jar. As the Lordship of Jesus Christ is presented, be mindful of two things (a) some people cannot differentiate between treasure and clay jar, (b) highlight the treasure rather than the fragile clay jar.
A word to the wise. What do you think?