I love mugs. This is one of my favorite. My mom gave it to me a few years ago. It’s from Guatemala and handcrafted by local artisans. I love the design and I was upset when my old roomie dropped it, but she saved the pieces and I was able to glue it back together. The cracks are still noticeable, but that just lends it some character.
Awhile back I read a verse in the Bible where Jesus talked to the Pharisees (the big religious Jewish guys who thought they were super holy). Jesus says, “Now, then, You Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make inside also? But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. Woe to you Pharisees, because you give got a tenth of your mint, rue, and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.”
Jesus is saying that they look good on the outside, but they need to worry about their hearts. Their character does not match the love of God. They may not be at the strip club, but they aren’t reaching out, loving people, and meeting needs.
This got me thinking. What does my cup look like? Some of us are the most Christiany Christians and have never been outwardly tarnished. We’re bright and shiny and look really appealing.
Some of us aren’t. Some have been dropped and pieced back together, but we are all the more beautiful for our experiences. What matters is the inside. We were full of filth at one time; at least I was. Like really gross. When I let Jesus in, he began cleansing me of all the garbage and filling me with good stuff like love, joy, peace, hope, and compassion. I am filled with what I am meant to be filled with: God.
So, what does your cup look like? Is it something someone else would want to drink out of? Or is it full bitterness, anger, hopelessness, and sin? Have you piled more garbage into the space Christ died to make clean? We all do that from time to time. The key is to recognize it and ask him to help you clean it up again. Don’t let the filth stay, because then you will never be useful to bring sustenance to anyone else. A good outside won’t fool people for long, and it definitely won’t fool God.
For my friends who don’t want to carry garbage through this life anymore, who want to be filled with every good thing and make a difference in the lives of others, I know a guy.