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Friday, January 22, 2016

A Tea Bag and Hot Water

The old story goes something like this: you don’t know what a person is made of until he gets into hot water. Then, it’s revealed—exactly like a tea bag infuses its unique flavor after the hot water surrounds it.

I’m afraid my “flavor” is much too evident when:
  • People act silly around me. I mean, they try my patience. They make me wait. They treat me like I’m stupid. And, the water gets murky because it reveals my impatience, my tendency to be easily frustrated, and my pride.
  • Things don’t go my way. I like my way. I like it when everyone else’s plans line up with mine. And, the water gets infused by the brown color of selfishness and superiority.
  • I don’t know how to do something. Recently, I’ve been learning some new technologies, but it’s been a painfully slow, trial and (mostly) error process, and I get frustrated. The hot water reveals discontent, a tendency to get easily frustrated, and impatience.
  • Life gets too busy. Time crunches and multiple responsibilities are the hot water that brings out a short fuse, frustration, and yes, again—impatience.

The tea is made, but it has an ugly taste. Indeed, if I tried to market my new blend, no one would desire it. My tea is: impatient, frustrated, prideful, selfish, discontent, and a little bit angry.

My tea would be a lot better if it were spiced and fruity.

But the boiling water reveals all.

My spirituality got pretty poor marks when the water splashed down upon it.

The Bible says the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23). That’s what my life should look like day by day.

Peter instructed his fellow Christians not to be shocked that they would be submerged in hot water: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy (1 Peter 4:12). Notice what their reaction should be: rejoice, be glad, have joy.

That frankly doesn’t sound like my “hot water” reactions.

Hot water reveals what’s in the tea bag. I need to check up on my contents. I want to make a savory brew.

How about you? Have you experienced some boiling water moments recently? How was your tea?

The good news is that Jesus understands and can help us with our attitudes, frustrations, and reactions. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:15-16).

“Dear Lord, help me to live through the difficult times with your grace.
I ask you to help me today to be joyful and to honor you.
In Your Name I pray, Amen.”


Please share your thoughts.