Read: 2 Corinthians 4
Consider: Growing older has many effects on the body, not least of which is how other people see you. As a child I thought there were three ages of people in society – children, adults and old people. As a child I didn’t appreciate that the change from one to the other is seamless; it’s almost as if I thought people woke up one day and suddenly they were old. Of course as you get older yourself you realise that life progresses from birth to death, without us really being conscious of its effects on us.
Paul, writing to the Corinthians, reminds them that they have the power of Christ (treasure) in their earthly bodies (jars of clay). The jar of clay is indeed a weak vessel in which to contain such power, but it is because of our frailty that God’s power is revealed all the more to the world. Paul’s words to the Corinthians also contain a very vivid description of getting older. He says: Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Modern society is fixated on trying to keep itself young, as if there is something terrible about growing older. So the order of the day are face lifts, tummy tucks, collagen injections or whatever cosmetic surgery keeps the desire for youthful looks alive. The Bible tells us otherwise and, as Christians, we should be able to show to the world that growing older can be embraced. We know that the body will age, but that our spirits will not. What is of eternal significance is the state of our souls.
When you look at other Christians, what do you see? When you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning, what do you see? Do you see the jar of clay and all the weakness and frailty it is subject to? Or do you see the treasure within?
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Pray: Father, forgive us for falling into the trap of thinking that youthful looks can be preserved forever. May we show the power of Christ to the world and that we have treasure in jars of clay. Amen