Pitchers, Cups, Bottles & Jars


One day there was a pitcher, some cups, a bottle, and some jars resting on the counter, and while resting, they began to argue. “I am the best!” proclaimed the pitcher, “because I can hold the most of you all!”. “NO! We are better,” retorted the cups, “because we are filled with the nourishment the owner needs and are used more frequently.” The bottle laughed and said, “what you say may be true, but we bottles hold the sweetly spiced oils, fragrant wines, and sweet drinks; we are more versatile than you.” But the jars snapped back. “Yes, but we jars can also hold these things, like you bottles, but we can also preserve the meats and jellies. Can you do this too?” The argument raged with no one willing to listen to the other.

Then a wise old pot that had been used for many generations spoke. “Ahem,” said the pot,” may I speak? Please listen to me. You young argue about many things. Yes, you excel in the things you speak; this is true, but it is not the differences but the similarities that I see in those things. You see, without what each of you brings, I would be incomplete; it is what you each possess that fills me. The pitcher fills me with water, which I boil on the stove. The bottles and jars fill me with spices and preserves. When all is done, and the soup is complete, I draw it into cups for the owner to eat. So even though each of you may be different, it isn’t the difference that I see, but how those differences fill and make a WHOLE in me.”

As human beings, we tend to focus on our differences and how someone or some group is different from us. We overemphasize the difference and underemphasize the similarities. However, if we realize that the differences do not separate us but actually make us whole, without those with strong personalities, we would accomplish nothing. Without persuasive people, we would not have any unity. Without team-oriented people, no work would get accomplished, and without the analytical, we would not know how to focus our energy. Like in the story above, it takes all of us, all types, to make a cohesive whole. This is true of our families, organizations, communities, or nations; when we learn to appreciate our differences, whether in personality, race, creed, or color, we will find that we can accomplish far more together than we can apart.

"For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another."
(Romans 12:4-5)

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