February 21, 2012
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of (Luke 6:45, NIV)
Friend to Friend
What is really inside will come spilling out for all to see when life puts the squeeze on us. My Mama used to say “What’s down in the well comes up in the bucket.” In other words, a crisis will usually reveal what is really in our hearts. It is easy to do and say the right things when life is calm and everything is going right, but what we say and do when chaos hits and the pressure is on tends to paint a more accurate picture of who we really are. It is kind of like sponge theology.
Suppose you have five sponges lying on your kitchen counter. Each member of your family has been cleaning different areas of your home, but the sponges all look the same. You are curious about what was cleaned but you can’t tell just by looking at the sponges since they all look the same. So what do you do?
You squeeze each sponge to see what happens. As you squeeze the first sponge, brown cola comes pouring out. Someone must have cleaned the kitchen with that sponge. Upon squeezing the second sponge, you see blue tub and tile cleaner oozing out of the sponge which leads you to believe someone used that particular sponge to clean the bathroom. In the third sponge, you find motor oil and conclude your husband was using that sponge to clean the garage. The fourth sponge produces a puff of baby powder when it is squeezed. The baby’s nursery was obviously cleaned with that sponge. Finally, the last sponge is dripping with floor wax which tells you someone used that particular sponge to clean the hall floor. As you lay the last sponge down, you look again at their similarity. They all look the same -- until they are squeezed.
We are a lot like sponges when it comes to our faith in God. We look and act as if God is Lord of our lives. We say all the right things to all the right people and do right things in order to prove we are right. But what is really inside? What do our hearts really look like?
When a crisis comes and the pressures of life squeeze us mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, what comes out? Do we respond to that difficult person in anger or with patience and love? Does revenge spill out in ugly words to that person who has hurt us more times than we can count or do we take a breath and remember that God loves them and that hurt people tend to hurt people? Does the pain of unresolved sin flood our hearts and minds as guilt spills out of our heart with a vengeance?
Just like the sponge, we can only squeeze out what is put in. Fill your heart with the things of God. Stay in the Word each day. Spend time with faith builders who will encourage you in your faith. Seek God and His plan for your life. Pray about everything so that when life puts the squeeze on you – and it will – the very nature of God will come pouring out.
Father, I want my faith to be more than just talk. I want it to be real and authentic, flowing from a heart set on You. Forgive me when I play religious games and pretend to be someone I am not. I am a sinner saved by Your grace. Teach me how to walk in that grace so that when the hard times come and the pressure is on, You come pouring out of my life.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Think back to the last time you were surprised by your reaction to a situation or a person. What does that tell you about the condition of your heart? Set aside time to spend alone with God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any sin that needs to be faced and confessed. Give Him permission to purify your heart so that no matter what life throws at you, God will be honored by how you respond.
More from the Girlfriends
As a pastor’s wife, I have talked with so many women who feel as if they were worthless, a freakish accident. Listen, my friend, you were planned and wanted by God. God is crazy about you and wants an intimate relationship with you. I pray that you will see yourself in the eyes of God, a chosen child. Need help? Check out one of Mary’s MP3 downloads, Come as You Are to discover how to see yourself through the eyes of God.
Be sure to check out the FREE MP3son Mary’s website.
Need help getting the Word of God into your life?Check out Mary’s Weekly Online Bible Study, When I Am Afraid, to learn how to face, deal with and surrender your fears to God.
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