As an avid coffee drinker, I know what makes a good cup of coffee. It all begins with a good brand of coffee grounds. I prefer McDonald’s. Then, there’s the coffee maker. The better the coffee grounds are filtered, the better the coffee tastes. But there’s one more requirement for a good cup of coffee. It’s the mug.
The taste of the content depends on the container.
My dad always drinks his coffee from a Styrofoam cup. I don’t. Why? Because I don’t like how it makes my coffee taste. I prefer traditional mugs. When I’m home, I usually drink from one of two different mugs. One is my Bible verse mug. The other is my Clearwater Beach mug. And honestly, I drink more coffee from my Yeti than either one of those.
Now, you must understand something about me. I drink a lot of coffee. Usually black coffee. Early in the morning or late at night, it doesn’t faze me.
If you blindfold me and give me McDonald’s coffee from any of my three cups, I am confident I can tell you what container I’m drinking from. I don’t need to see the container. I just need to taste the content. Because the taste of the content depends on the container.
The same is true in our spiritual lives. We are vessels for God.
“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us” (2 Cor. 4:6-7 NKJV).
We are containers for the glory of God. In other words, God often pours Himself into the world through us. We are His mugs. We are His vessels. We are the containers. He is the content. How are we making Him taste?
The God of all creation desires to change the world through you. Think about that. A perfect God uses imperfect people to reveal His glory. It is an honor to be a container, a vessel, for God. However, it also comes with a huge responsibility. How can we share God’s love without changing His taste? How can we reveal God in a way that truly expresses His character?
I want to focus on two important elements of our mugs: our words and our actions.
The words you use affect the message they receive. If you sound like the world, then how do you expect to adequately express the love of God?
I have heard many preachers cuss during their sermons. And no, I’m not talking about the King James Version of “donkey.” I’m talking about cuss words used outside of Biblical context. This always bothers me. There should be a clear difference between the way Christians and non-Christians speak. Otherwise, as God’s vessels, we’re in danger of changing His taste.
The Bible says, “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:10 ESV).
We should monitor our words more closely, shying away from gossip, complaining, arguing, and other forms of negative speech.
In addition to words, our actions affect the message people receive.
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” (James 2:14 NLT).
It bothers me to find people who say they are Christians but act as if they’re not. If you say you follow Jesus, your actions should reflect the character of God. And when your actions don’t match God’s love, you change His taste to the people around you.
I want to conclude with one of my favorite Bible verses. It says, “No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us” (1 John 4:12 NLT).
God is the content. You are the container. How are you making Him taste to those around you?