I heard this analogy recently, and I absolutely love it:
You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere.
Why did you spill the coffee?
“Well because someone bumped into me, of course!”
You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup.
Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.
Whatever is inside the cup, is what will spill out.
I believe that’s true, and it’s such an important principle.
Solomon said in Proverbs 4:23 (NIV), “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
And Jesus said, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34).
This is important because so much of what we do is the reaction of the moment. Most of us would manage fairly well if we could be given a situation and we had an hour to think about how we should handle it.
But rarely do we have that luxury. In most situations, we have only a few seconds to decide how we will react, and how we react will be determined by what’s in our heart. Whatever is inside the heart, is what will spill out.
A driver cuts us off in traffic. Whatever is inside the heart, is what will spill out.
A schoolmate makes fun of us. Whatever is inside the heart, is what will spill out.
A co-worker gets the recognition for the work that we did. Whatever is inside the heart, is what will spill out.
The person in front of us in the grocery store line is causing a tremendous delay. Whatever is inside the heart, is what will spill out.
A heart filled with grace, joy and gratitude will respond one way. A heart filled with anger, bitterness and ingratitude will respond another. Whatever is inside the heart, is what will spill out. May we fill our heart with all of those Christ-like qualities so that whenever we are “bumped”, that’s what spills out!