Any cup-hoarders out there? If you are anything like me, I love me a cute cup. Mugs in particular. Being an avid coffee drinker and a nurse to boot, I have my fair share of cups to go around. We have more than my family needs, but I just can't seem to part with many of them. Whether given to my by a friend for a birthday, or purchased during a special trip, many of my cups hold significance to me and it is rare that I part with them. I especially love my mugs that have an encouraging word or scripture written on them. In addition to the caffeine inside, often the words on the outside are just as mood-boosting for me. More often than not, my morning cup of coffee energizes mind, body, and soul.
Walking around with a full cup is no small thing. Navigating small children, desks, carpet, animals, co-workers, traffic, with a cup filled to the brim is quite the undertaking. It takes patience and no small amount of concentration to keep all the liquid inside. Add in contents that are scalding hot or can permanently stain and the stakes are raised even more. We have to be so careful!
Now take our spiritual life- our 'insides' if you will. A cup (our physical, visible testimony) that has beautiful wording, or a fantastic saying, scripture, or lovely pictures on the outside, can still spill horrible liquid right? When bumped or pushed, knocked around or dropped... it doesn't matter one bit what the outside of that cup looks like... the fallout will involve the contents on the inside. Hot coffee will spatter and burn anything around it. Red Kool-aid will stain anything it touches, often permanently. It doesn't matter what the cup looks like- when things get dicey, the damage done is dictated by what is on the inside.
Dear ones, I hope you see the parallels here. Faking this Christian walk can only be so successful. The prettiest, most pious, 'Christ-like' exterior and actions are simply that.... exterior. Sooner or later when adversity strikes, be it getting cut off in traffic, being betrayed by a friend, or something much worse, those 'bumps' will always spill out what is truly on the inside. What your reaction to these bumps is will spill what is truly in your heart.
Do you spill grace, mercy, forgiveness? Or wrath, anger, frustration, curses, revenge?
Matthew 6:21 tells us, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.'
Contents of your character will always overshadow the exterior vessel. I challenge you today to take a good look at what you are filled with. What does the content of your heart look like? You're filled to the brim with it... is it Jesus or something a bit more destructive? The splatter will most definitely affect all those around you... will is scald and stain or edify them? Only you have control of this.
Jesus warns us that He doesn't care a wit about our exteriors... only what the condition of our hearts are. He will come for our hypocrisy, make no mistake.
Mark 12:38-40 And in His teaching He said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation."
My prayer for all of us today is that when tried and tested our inner contents will spill Jesus all over the place. We cannot be perfect every time, but we can change our reactions with help from our Great King!