A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But, the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfections and miserable that it was only able to accomplish half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.
"I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer? "What are you ashamed of?" "I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half of my load, because of this crack in my side, causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work and you don't get the full value from your efforts." said the noticeably cracked pot.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path and this did cheer the old cracked pot somewhat. But, at the end of the trail, it still
felt bad because it had leaked out half its load and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his home."
We are all part of the family of God and each of us is unique and beautiful in our Master's eyes! We each have a gift or talent that is needed to fulfill the work of God. You must never underestimate yourself by comparing yourself with others. It is our differences that make the family of God, unique and wonderful!
God's various gifts are handed out to each of us; but they all originate in God's Spirit. As are God's various ministries, expressions of power in action and talents. Each of us is given something to do that expresses who God is. The variety should be looked at as wonderful, and we should never compare our gift to anyone else's gift. It is God alone, who decides who gets what and when they will get it.
In verses 12-13 we can see how easily this kind of thing works, by just looking at our bodies. Our bodies have many parts, limbs, organs, cells, blood vessels - but no matter how many parts there are, there is still just one body!
It is the same thing with the body of Christ Jesus. By means of His one Spirit, we all said goodbye to our pitiful and partial lives, where we use to call our own shots. When we accepted Christ Jesus, we entered into a larger and more integrated life, in which He has the final say in everything!
We affirmed this when we were baptized and each of us in now a part of His resurrected body. We are refreshed and sustained at one fountain, which is His Spirit, where we all come to drink. We are no longer Jew or Greek, a slave or free, we are all now a part of the Family of God!
Christ is like a single body, with many, many parts and each of us holds a significant value in the eyes of God. He alone knows why one gives wise counsel and another clear understanding. He knows why one is a preacher, one a teacher, why one has faith and another healing. Whatever, God has given to you and I, is of His choosing, we need just use it willingly and freely!