Monday, October 10, 2011

What's In Your Sugar Bowl?

I have a set of canisters on my kitchen counter that contain flour, sugar, tea, and artificial sweetener.  I used to have a set of translucent glass jars, and I could see exactly what was inside them.  I found these opaque canisters a few years ago, and loved them.  It is more work for me to look inside to see if my canisters are empty, but I don't mind.  I like the fact that my opaque canisters conceal the mess that the contents create within their containers.

This morning, I was reflecting on a conversation I'd had yesterday.  My friend had been the victim of gossip, and I was reading scripture and thinking back to what had happened.  The Lord gave me this image:

From looking at my measuring cup filled with sugar, can you tell how much sugar I have in my container?  No, of course not.  At one time it had 1/2 of a cup, that much is true.  But you can't tell anything about the contents of my container based upon what was drawn out of it without some investigation.  Specifically, you'll need to open the container to see how much sugar is in it.

People are kind of like sugar canisters:  You don't know how much of the good stuff is in them until you investigate.  Just looking at the outside of a person tells us very little of what's going on inside of them.  Lately, I've become aware of our tendency to make judgments about others based on very little information--a mere 1/2 cup of sugar.  What we see represents very little; what we hear, even less.  Yesterday, my friend and I had an opportunity to "open our canisters" for a bit, and share the contents of our hearts.  Spending time with others requires effort.  Confronting someone requires courage.  Being honest and transparent requires both.  The payoff is that clearing the air and restoring a relationship is a good thing, and a godly thing.  Peace is a good place to be.

This metaphor is for me, just as much as it is for others.  God shared this with me after my quiet time, after all.  I have to remember that what I see and hear of others represents a tiny fraction of what their intentions are.  I cannot possibly know what is going on inside the hearts and minds of others unless I take the time to get to know them and they decide to reveal themselves to me.  Also, we don't have to have translucent containers--I prefer to have an opaque one!  But I am open to sharing my heart when asked to, by a person who has earned my trust.

Many blessings,


No comments:

Post a Comment