Cracked Cup

Jun 17, 2003 10:15 AM EDT

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (NRSV)

Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."

We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

- 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV)

ON weekday mornings, I often reach into my cupboard and choose one particular coffee mug. One side of the mug is chipped; a hairline crack runs through it; and the writing on it, once colorful, is now faded. A friend bought the mug for me. It may be cracked, but it holds coffee and warms my hands during my daily devotional time.

I am like that mug -- chipped and cracked by the mistakes and injuries of the present and past. At times, my spiritual passion fades because of sin or neglect. Then I feel ashamed, thinking that God should put me in the back of the cupboard where my weaknesses and chips won't be an embarrassment. I long to be of use, but I feel that God would only want to use the best.

It is at just such times that God has taken me in hand and used me in unexpected ways. The joy of being loved and used by God in spite of my imperfections has taught me the meaning of love.

Prayer: Dear God, help us know that even though we are chipped or broken, you hold us with affection and use us by your grace. Amen.


We are loved, not because we are good but because God is good.


Those who feel like badly chipped cups

By Valerie Fleming Bryant, Tennessee