Anyone can utter flowery platitudes about their commitment to God; but when the façade is stripped away, the real person is visible for all to see. A missionary spoke with Pablo, an island native, about the importance of giving to the Lord. He said, “Pablo, if you had 100 sheep, would you give 50 to God?”

“Yes!” Pablo enthusiastically responded.

“If you had 100 goats, would you give 25 to God?”

“Yes.”

“If you had 2 pigs, would you give 1 to God?”

The native folded his arms and said, “That’s not fair. You know I have 2 pigs.”

While the native was very generous in theory, in practice he was not. The same is true of many Christians today. In an effort to give a favorable impression of ourselves to others, we talk a certain way in church or when we are with certain people. We serve in ministry so as to appear spiritual. We wear nice clothes, sing in the choir, and look good so as to impress others.

But then God strips away the façade. He uses adverse circumstances, penetrating sermons, counsel, and His Word to break us and show us who we really are. It is usually not a pretty sight to behold.

Yet it is at the point of brokenness that God can begin the monumental task of rebuilding us from inside-out. Like a potter fashioning a lump of clay into an ornate vase, God fashions us for His glorious purpose.

Has God recently broken you? Perhaps, like Peter, you thought you were stronger than you really were until God showed you the man beneath the mask. Maybe you have been hurt after seeing so-called “friends” for who they really are. You might have lost something which you were relying on for sustenance, and now you are forced to rely exclusively upon God. Remember, He never breaks unless He plans to remake — stronger and more beautiful than before.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.