GRAHAM COOKE: pgs.25-26
START WITH YOURSELF
Sometimes it’s not the quality of their sonship but our
fathering that is more the issue. It is not just their commitment
to service, but also our capacity to inspire and disciple.
These things always work both ways. Getting God’s perspective
first enables us to position our own heart in the Spirit.
That leader had to have a vision for himself—that he was
a father, not a slave-owner—before he could have eyes to see
the treasure in someone else. When we see ourselves as God
sees us, we automatically start seeing others differently. I look
at some people and think, “It’s in there somewhere—just keep
looking, Grae.” I want to love people enough to tell them what
their treasure is. I don’t want to focus on what they’re doing
against me. I want to come back in the opposite spirit and say,
“You know something? This is what God likes about you.”
This approach confounds people: it’s so cool to see. People
come to me and say, “ I don’t like this about you, or this, or this.”
I just smile, look at them, and reply: “You’re probably right,
because I am less than perfect. But you know, this is what God
likes about you. God loves this part of you! Let me just bless
that in you, so you can get stronger.” It’s called heaping coals of
fire on their head, and it’s a lot of fun. They usually leave bewildered
by the conversation, but touched by the Spirit.
Some of us have had our minds so damaged by others that
we simply believe we are worthless. I curse that thought in the
name of Jesus: that is not God. We should each know our value
and worth to the Lord. It’s not based on what we have done, but
on who He is. Our doings will catch up with our being—don’t
fret about that. But God loves you, right now, just as you are.
He will continue to change and form you, because He is kind,
generous, and in love with you.
In the Bible, God compared us with pure gold:
The precious sons of Zion,
Valuable as fine gold,
How they are regarded as clay pots,
The work of the hands of the potter!”
People see us as just another clay pot, made by a potter’s
hand; but God sees us as fine gold. Sometimes we can’t see the
spiritual beauty in a person because of the earthen vessel, but it
is there. And whatever you see in people that is good, or speak
to people that is good, rebounds on you. God judges every idle
word, and blesses every precious one.
People see us as just another clay pot, made by a potter’s hand; but God sees us as fine gold.
My Comment: When I first read this section earlier this spring, my life was full of challenges, each driven by opinions of influential people in my life. I like to think that I try to see the best in people. So, at that time I was applying what Graham insights into starting with ourselves, first. It really helped to remind me that God desires our temperament to show discernment, to reflect His view, not our own. It’s ok to be a clay pot in people eyes. Just ordinary with a few cracks and chips here and there. We go on our daily life facing each trial, each disappointment and sorrow as clay pots…some leaking more than other. Some may not have cracks but they are filled with the muck and mire of sin, instead. Leaving no room for the Lord. But as I reflected on what Graham stated “Some of us have had our minds so damaged by others that we simply believe we are worthless.” I found myself crying. Yes, I was a leaking pot, my heart broken. That was not easy to say or write. But what I can share is that it was a starting point with me and The Master Potter. We must be willing to say, Ok, I’m needing some refining right about now, Lord. Throw me back on your potter wheel, Lord. For your loving guidance is never too much for me to bear.
One day recently, I was starting a fire in our wood stove. As I began throwing in the wood pieces to build it up, I had a Ah moment, you could say. It reminded me of the scripture of refiner’s gold. During the time in the Old Testament, gold was melded much differently than now a days, right? But still it takes great heat to bring out the finest elements in the gold. How wonderful to know that God sees us already as His Best, even when we are going through the heat to get there. I just sat there watching the beauty of the fire and thankful that He is in control of my life.