Time for a coffee break! But first, take a good look at your cup. No, not the one containing your coffee. The “cup” that is YOU. The Bible likens you to a vessel. A container created by the Lord. Perhaps your “cup” is dainty and delicate, or maybe it’s strong and sturdy. Breakable like porcelain and dentable like Styrofoam or cardboard. Created perfect, but now sustaining a few cracks or chips, lines or dents from the wear and tear of the world.
In our outward appearance, we carry a message; we make a first impression that says something about us, and we want it to be a good one, so we cover up and smooth over those flaws. We are consumed with the outside look of the CUP, aren’t we? Our appearance, our image, our desire to look good to others. We may even secretly hope others wish they had our cup because we look like we “have it all together.”
Or maybe, as we peer at another woman, she appears to be the one who “has it all together”, and we find ourselves thinking:
“I wish I were more like her, delicate, beautiful & feminine.”
“If I could just be more like her, strong and practical, not afraid to speak her mind and share her faith!”
“Boy, she can really handle a lot – I wish I had her capacity and depth!”
“I envy her; she is so sophisticated & modern – a real today’s woman – always on-the-go because she has important places to be!”
“She is all that…AND she is eco-friendly!”
Perhaps the envied woman of outer delicate beauty is compensating the only way she knows how, because she feels so ugly within; she thinks very little of herself. Maybe the woman whose appearance is strong & practical is misunderstood or misguided. The woman who appears full of capacity & depth may be overcommitted and drowning inside. And what about the envied sophisticated women-of-today? Are they actually feeling stretched thin, disposable, or even recyclable some days? Do any of these inner flaws speak of us? Maybe in some ways, our cups are a bit like one or more of these.
Those cracks or chips that we’ve covered up? Maybe they are cracked or broken promises, chipped or damaged relationships. Those lines or dents that we’ve smoothed over? Battle lines drawn from anger or bitterness; dents from damage done to ourselves. All these blemishes are patched up and filled in for outward appearances, but the flaws are still within. We scrub, polish, and smooth the outer surface so we come across flawless to others, though inside we are worn out and weary, selfish and stained.
God loves us so much that He sent His own Son to us in the midst of our stain and sin. He chose these stained, damaged cups - you and me. Jesus, the sinless and spotless Son of God, endured the agony of death on the cross and He rose again, VICTORIOUS, defeating sin & death for us, so that we might have eternal life & salvation, found only in Him. We are filled with faith by the power of the Holy Spirit to believe God's promise that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Hold out your stained, damaged cup to Him. He is faithful and just. He is all powerful to forgive you in Jesus Christ; to remove your stains; to cleanse & heal you completely, from the inside out. You are made perfect – presented spotless – flawless – in Him who covers you with His perfection. Can you believe it?! It’s true! Because of God’s freely-flowing favor, your vessel – your cup – contains the love of the Lord: "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:5 You are filled with His favor and capable of letting His love overflow onto everyone around you.