Like Glass Buckets – Part 2

I am a glass bucket filled with sand.

Perhaps you haven’t read my previous blog entry. If not, I am fully aware that the above statement is a little out of the ordinary. Feel free to scroll down to the previous post first in order to shed some light on where we’re at.

So often we can hide who we really are, where we’re really at, or what’s really going through our head. What’s on the inside (our ‘sand’ in this analogy) becomes hidden beneath an artificial shell that portrays something that we determine more acceptable for others to see.

When we are our most real, our external selves are like glass buckets that reveal to others exactly who we are on the inside. These glass buckets display the sand and in turn, the sand reflects our true selves. However, there is a problem with glass.

It is not very strong.

When we present our real selves to the world around us, it is easy to become more fragile. Our harder shells could deflect and absorb personal attacks because, after all, it was only a representation of what we wanted to be rather than a direct reflection of who we were. However, when we become like glass buckets, criticisms can smash, crack and break us. We have to lower our defenses and hope for the best. When it’s put like that, it’s pretty hard to be real isn’t it? In Jesus’ day, a law-obsessed group of people called the Pharisees were so intent in looking like they had it together that they created shells that didn’t really reflect who they were on the inside. In Matthew 23:25-28, we read Jesus’ opinions on this:

25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

I am certainly guilty of being like a ‘whitewashed tomb’ sometimes. There are times where I’m so embarrassed of who I am and so petrified of the impact a few harsh words could have on me that I end up trying to be something I’m not. I’m realising more and more that the challenge of following Jesus isn’t appearing to be doing the right things at the right times. That’s easy. The challenge is doing the right things for the right reasons at ALL times and reflecting an authentic character from the inside out. God’s sanctifying work in us is life-long, and He loves us regardless of our weaknesses. There is no need to find artificial strength in catering for the opinions of others. Similarly, there is no need to find strength in being artificial to find acceptance in the opinions of others. Our strength comes from God, and God alone, as the psalmists highlight quite nicely:

Psalm 28:6-8 (New International Version, ©2011)

6 Praise be to the LORD,

for he has heard my cry for mercy.

7 The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.

8 The LORD is the strength of his people,

a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.

Psalm 118:13-15 (New International Version, ©2011)

13 I was pushed back and about to fall,

but the LORD helped me.

14 The LORD is my strength and my defense[a];

he has become my salvation.

Becoming like glass buckets filled with sand is dangerous. Presenting ourselves as we truly are will not always be pretty, and we will almost certainly get hurt when we rely on ourselves. With our own strength, we are fragile and weak, and can barely carry our own load. But God is our strength. He will carry us through the hard times, and the rewards for working on our character will be phenomenal!


One thought on “Like Glass Buckets – Part 2

  1. That's great matey. Really insightful stuff. We hear a lot about not putting on a mask but you really get into the problems of taking off the mask but then say the cost is worth it for the prize. Very christ like teaching. One thing I would say is we have to be careful who's opinions we really take to heart. Take every thought captive and make it obedient to him. 2 corinthians 10:4-5 Because if your anything like me 99 people in a room will be saying nice things and you'll focus on the one person who has a criticism.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s