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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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What is inside us will spill over when difficulty times challenge us

What is inside us will spill over when difficulty times challenge us

You’re holding a cup of coffee when someone bumps into you causing the coffee to spill all over the place. If you weren’t holding the cup of coffee, it wouldn’t have spilt. The point is, whatever is in the cup will spill out when someone or something “knocks” us unexpectedly.

When some calamity comes along and shakes us up, whatever we have inside us will come out. So, we have to ask ourselves, “What’s in my cup?”

When life gets tough, what spills over – joy, gratefulness, peace and humility, or anger, harsh words and revenge? We have a choice!

Author Rebecca Eanes tells us, “Meeting a child’s aggression with adult aggression only adds fuel to the fire. To extinguish aggressive behavior, meet it with calmness. Being calm isn’t passive. It’s mature. Be it to teach it.”

Gentle Parenting Memes reminds us, “Beneath every behavior, there is a feeling. Beneath every feeling, there is a need. When we meet that need, rather than the focus on the behavior, we begin to deal with the cause, not the symptom.”

What are our needs? What are the needs of those around us? Do we act or just react? Every day, we need to work on filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, words of affirmation, kindness, gentleness, and love for others. We dwell on others’ needs, not their behaviors.

St. Paul wrote to Timothy and warned him to choose wisely. He said, “In the last days distressing times will come. For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, inhuman, unmerciful, slanderers, squanderers, brutes, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them!” (2 Tim. 3:1-5).

American poet Edgar Guest reflected on the “cup” in his poem “Myself.” He writes, “I have to live with myself, and so, I want to be fit for myself to know; I want to be able as days go by, always to look myself straight in the eye; I don’t want to stand with the setting sun, and hate myself for the things I’ve done. I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf, a lot of secrets about myself, and fool myself as I come and go, into thinking that nobody else will know.

“The kind of man I really am; I don’t want to dress myself up in sham. I want to deserve all men’s respect; but here in this struggle for fame and pelf, I want to be able to like myself. I don’t want to think as I come and go, that I’m for bluster and bluff and empty show.

“I never can hide myself from me, I see what others may never see. I know what others may never know, I never can fool myself – and so, whatever happens, I want to be, self-respecting and conscience free.”

Legendary Pistol Pete Maravich who played basketball for LSU and the New Orleans Jazz once said, “With all the trophies, awards, money and fame, I am not at peace with myself. I became a desperate man, facing the inevitable questions each person must face. What do I live for? What value do I have? What will happen to me when I die? For a man that seemed to have it all, in my estimation I had no purpose, and no reason for being.

“I know I had to make things right with God. I prayed a simple prayer as best I could. ‘God, come into my life and forgive my sins. Make me the person that you want me to be.’ From that moment on, my life was now filled with the light and love of God.”

What’s in your cup?