One day a man was exploring a cave by a lake. In one of the caves, he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It looked like someone had rolled clay into balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn't look like much, but it intrigued the man. So he took the bag with him. As he was walking along the lake, he decided to throw the clay balls one at a time out into the lake as far as he could!
He thought little about it, until he accidentely dropped a clay ball on a rock and it cracked open. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone! Excited, the man started breaking open the rest of the clay balls. Each of them contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him. He had been on the beach for a very long time and figured he threw 50-60 clay balls with precious jewels and treasures in them! Instead of thousands of dollars, he could have taken home tens of thousands of dollars, but he had thrown them away!
It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourself, and we see the external clay around us. It doesn't look like much on the outside, right? It isn't always beautiful or sparkling and we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy, but we haven't taken the time to find the treasures hidden inside that person.
There is a treasure inside each of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brillant gem begins to shine.
May we not come to the end of our lives and found out that we have thrown fortunes in friendships because the gems were hidden behind clay. May we see people the way God sees them and love them!
Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults-unless, of course, you want the same treatment! Don't condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you'll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back-given back with bonuses and blessings. Giving, not getting, is the way.
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