Do You Know the Treasures Around You?

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, I will write about the
special abilities the Holy Spirit gives to each of us, for I must
correct your misunderstandings about them.”
1 Cor. 12:1 (NLT)

You can’t learn these things from outward appearances; it takes time to know someone on the inside. This short story reminds us about the importance getting to know someone from the inside out:

A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was as if someone had rolled up clay and left them out in the sun to bake. Though they didn’t look like much, they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, to pass the time, he threw the clay balls out into the ocean as far as he could, one at a time. He thought little about it until he dropped one of the balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone. Shocked and excited the man began breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each 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 carelessly thrown 50 or 60 clay balls into the ocean—along with their hidden treasures! He hadn’t understood their value. If only he’d have known, he could have taken home a true fortune.

It’s like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and see an external clay vessel. It doesn’t look like much from the outside. It isn’t beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well-known or wealthy. We have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside by God.

There is a treasure in each and every one of us…gifts and passions God placed there. If we take the time to get to know a person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees him, then the “clay” begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.

The Apostle Paul explains that all spiritual gifts come from God and are given to each of His children as He sees fit: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men…. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.” 1 Cor. 12: 4-6, 11. Let’s search for the spiritual gifts and passions of others. Let’s help them see their value and their God-given purpose.

The Power of Truth:

  • “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man
    looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’” 1 Sam. 16:7
  • “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Heb. 3:13
  • “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thess. 5:11

Suggestion for Prayer:

You may be surrounded with a fortune in friendships. Ask God to help you see people as He sees them. Ask Him how you can encourage them.