What’s in your cup?

A friend of mine shared on Facebook an analogy her mom shared with her. That will be the foundation for today’s blog. Here’s what she wrote her mom shared with her:

You walk around with your cup of coffee... and suddenly someone passes... pushes you and makes your coffee spill everywhere.
Why did your coffee spill?
- Because someone pushed me
Wrong answer: You spilled the coffee because that's what you had in the cup. If it had been tea... you would have spilled tea.

This analogy paints perfectly the concept of you are what you eat. What is inside of us will be what eventually comes out of us. Life shakes us up. That’s not an if or maybe. It’s a when. When we are bumped, we eventually spill and what spills reveals what is really in our hearts. Many times what’s spilled are areas that we have kept secret. They are parts of our lives that we’ve cleverly masked and hidden from the rest of the world.

You stub your toe. What spills? You lose your keys. What spills? Someone break checks you on the freeway. What spills? The waitress messes up your order. What spills? You receive an unpleasant report from the doctor. What spills? You lose your job. What spills? You lose a loved one. What spills? Truth is revealed when trials present themselves. Don’t get me wrong. We are not perfect human beings. We won’t always respond with virtue. We will slip. We will say things at the moment that is not the better side of who we are. How we consistently respond to life spills, however, reveal what’s in our hearts but more so what we’ve been filling our hearts with.

We have two choices to make in utilizing bumps in the road. We can either let the trail refine us or give it the power to break us. In refining, our character is built through dependence not on self, rather from our source. In breaking, we react to spills removing God and sometimes even blaspheming God. The reality is, each trial we face, whether big or small, reveals what’s in our hearts.

So my question to you is this, what’s in your cup? What are the things you’ve been filling your heart that will eventually spill? Are you going to spill bitterness, profanity, anger, and wrath? Or in pain, hurt, suffering and loss are you going to remember to fall on your knees to your source? A good indicator of how we will respond to life’s hiccups is being mindful of what we are filling our hearts. Our speech especially reveals what’s in our hearts in the overwhelming.

Again I ask. What’s in your cup? The shows you watch are what’s in your cup. How you utilize your time is what’s in your cup. What you read is what’s in your cup. The unforgiveness and unresolved issues are what’s in your cup. The insecurities you’ve allowed to rule you are what’s in your cup. Be honest with yourself, what’s in your cup. If you feed yourself what’s good, that’s what will come out. If you feed yourself rotten food, well you and I both know you can poison your insides. The same happens when we fill our cups with the rotten things in life. Our speak is poisoned. Our character is poisoned. And bottom line, our hearts are poisoned.

Matthew 12:34 says it perfectly,

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Today I want to challenge you to reevaluate what’s in your heart. If you’re consuming rotten things, it’s very likely you’ve been walking around with a rotten mouth and rotten character. Ouch! If you’ve been filling your cup with good, then you’re on the right path. Truth be told, no one is perfect, but we can strive towards Christ perfecting us. In Christ’s perfecting, there’s a refining of our hearts and character; submitting our hearts to do the will of God and walking as Jesus did, not as we want.

I will leave you with this question one last time. What is in your cup? What will eventually spill when someone or something bumps you?


Coffee Strength; Milk & Steak

I got asked a question about an individual that had me stumble. Not because this person doesn’t fit positively in the question, rather the question in itself had me stumble as I applied it to myself. Here’s what I was asked:

Is _____ a strong Christian?

I knew immediately the answer to that question. What I didn’t quite know is if someone asked that question about me, what their response would be. I pondered on, Is Vashti a strong christian?

You’re probably asking yourself that question about yourself right now. I get it. It gets you thinking. Who knew such a simple question could stir so much questioning. In my pondering, I shifted from “me” to simply – What is a “strong Christian?”

In the Christian realm we use the term “strong Christian” to describe someone who is known for their strong faith in Christ. Individuals who are in the spotlight to some degree or another and makes their following of Christ known. They dress the part, look the part and act the part. They quote scriptures and seem to have the “Christian walk” pretty much solved. Is that really what a “strong Christian” is? Do we maybe have that all wrong? Did we mess up entirely by compartmentalizing Christianity into “weak, regular and strong?” As I asked myself these questions, I was appropriately sipping on coffee. The concept of levels of coffee roast came to mind as I questioned why we have placed Christianity into categories.

Driftawary Coffee has an article on the difference between Light Roast, Medium Roast & Dark Roast. The writer, Scotts describes the uniqueness between the levels. Here’s what he writes summarized for your reading:

Light Roasts 

  • Retains most of the original coffee characteristics
  • Has the highest acidity and are the brightest of the three roast levels.

Medium Roasts

  • Has a darker brown color than a light roast and will look richer
  • Coffee’s oils may be visible on the beans
  • Contains a balance between acidity and body
  • Has a brighter, fuller body in taste 

Dark Roasts

  • Has a dark brown, sometimes almost black, in color. 
  • Coffee oils can be seen on dark roasted beans.
  • In dark roast, you’re almost exclusively tasting notes from the roast
  • The brightness of light roasts is replaced with body in dark roasts
  • Bold Bodies and a Richer Taste 

So what does roast level have to do with Christianity? Well let’s take a look at it using coffee roast level analogy. 

Light (weak) Christian:

  • Has accepted Jesus and sought salvation through coming of faith
  • Has a brighter tenacity from their recent coming to Christ, however still struggling with who they were prior to salvation.

Medium (regular) Christian:

  • Seasoned Christian who spends time with in prayer, fasting and God’s word
  • They do not hide their faith walk
  • Contains a balance between faith walk and struggles
  • Has a brighter, fuller Christian walk

Dark (strong) Christian:

  • Bold in nature.
  • Christianity radiates
  • Knows God’s and makes it known
  • Richness in walk with Christ replaces struggles
  • Bold in walk and richer in character

Looking at this, I would suggest that believing doesn’t make a difference, it is doing and living. Coffee is coffee in it’s original form. It wasn’t born into a “level.” Not until it curates into different forms does it become what it is known for, light, medium and dark.

Like coffee, humans are humans. You cannot be physically born into Christianity. Not until we are curated (accept Jesus as our Christ and savior) do we then fall into the categories of light, medium and dark faith. It is not about belief alone. It is living out what we believe and why we believe it to the fullest. Faith and works work hand in hand. In the Christian faith we should continuously develop and grow. Stagnancy and compliancy is not growth.

So to my question earlier. Is compartmentalizing Christianity into “weak, regular and strong, right? Maybe not so if you’re doing it comparing others to condemn them. But I do urge you to ask that question about yourself. Are you growing in your faith walk or have you remained where you’ve always been. Are you still a newborn suckling milk are have you sifted from milk, to medium chewable to hearty food? Genuinely ask yourself that question. Not to prove yourself better than others, rather to personally perfect your faith in Christ.

I don’t know about you but I prefer a steak over milk. Milk had it’s season in my life. Today, I’d much rather a nice steak than a glass of milk. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with milk, but that was simply for a season. So, where are you? Are you still suckling on milk? Are you chewing on milk food or have you gone for the steak? While I don’t like the idea of compartmentalizing Christianity, I do want to stress the importance of growth. Don’t become comfortable in your faith. Growth, like in the physical world is greatly needed in the spiritual.

What is your christianity strength?

Bible reference: 1 Corinthians; Hebrews 5; Hebrews 6; 1 Peter 2