A while ago I received the following story in an e-mail. Unfortunately I do not know the original author of the story. 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 like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn’t look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.
He thought little about it; until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful precious stone!
Excited the man started 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 been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!
It’s like that with people too. Many times we look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see only the external clay vessel. Many times it doesn’t look like much from the outside. It isn’t always beautiful or sparkling, so we discard it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.
What a wonderful way to look at people, all people. One thing I have discovered in life is that all people are precious. In fact you have never looked into the eyes of any human being, it doesn’t matter what your impression of that person was, that wasn’t precious in God’s sight.
One of the most important things in life is learning to discover the treasure inside other people. How many valuable treasures that could have richly influenced our lives have we thrown away because we didn’t spend the time to discover their worth? They weren’t rich enough or beautiful enough for our liking and we decided not to make them a part of our lives. How rich could we have been, if we only knew their worth?
Here are a few suggestions on how to bring out the treasure in other people:
1. See them as they CAN be, and not as they are.
John Maxwell teaches the principle that, on a scale of 0 – 10, we should put a ten on every…