Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Rose's Tea Cup

“I haven’t been feeling well lately.” Rose sighed and sank back into her chair. Picking up a nearly empty teacup with the teabag tag hanging over the edge, she took a sip of tepid liquid.

“Would you like me to brew you a fresh cup of tea?” I asked.

“Oh, you can just pour more hot water in this cup,” Rose said, handing it to me. “Would you put in a little milk, please?”

In the kitchen, I found a hint as to why Rose might not be feeling well. Strewn across the counter were dishes crusted with partially-eaten food. The sink held badly stained teacups with sugar crystalized in the bottom. When I tried to rinse the one Rose had given me, the build-up of tea deposits looked like the rings of a cut tree. How long had it been since anyone thoroughly scrubbed Rose’s dishes?

I had recently read that the grimy tea residue left in a cup, especially if you’ve added milk, can end up being a haven for bacteria. It’s important to empty the cup and wash it thoroughly. From the looks of things, Rose hadn’t been doing that. No wonder her health was suffering.

Similarly, our spiritual health can suffer when we allow sin to build up. A “little white lie” creates the need for another and another until our word is untrustworthy. Repeatedly criticizing someone can lead to resentment and bitterness that will rear up in the heat of an argument. Neglecting to read our Bibles or pray starves us of the spiritual nourishment we need to maintain a healthy relationship with Jesus.

Like the germy inside of Rose’s tea cup, that needed washed and bleached, we need to be pardoned and cleansed from all wrongdoing. 1 John 1:9 says if we confess our sins to God, he will do exactly that—forgive us our sins and purify us from all our transgressions.

What can we do to help maintain spiritual health?
  • James 4:7 teaches, “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will run away from you.”
  •  2 Tim. 2:19 says, “Whoever says that he belongs to the Lord must turn away from wrongdoing.”
  • Philippians 4:8 admonishes, “Fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.”

 While only God can save and forgive us, these verses give us steps we can take to lessen temptation and prevent the build-up of sin and its consequences in our spiritual vessels.

Be encouraged!

©2018 Pamela D. Williams