During one of his sermons, Hudson Taylor, pioneer missionary to China, filled a glass with water and placed it on a table in front of him. While he was speaking, he pounded his fist hard enough to make the water splash onto the table. He then explained, “You will come up against much trouble. But when you do, remember, only what’s in you will spill out.”
That’s worth thinking about, isn’t it? When we are mistreated or misunderstood, how do we respond? With loving words, patience, and kindness? Or are we inclined to retaliate in anger?
In Ephesians 4:17-32, we see the contrast between what a person is before he is saved and what he is afterward. When we live under the control of the Holy Spirit, we will show it by the way we react to the jolting trials and temptations of life. How we respond to trying, embarrassing situations that are suddenly thrust upon us is a good test of how much we have grown in grace.
It is possible to suppress frustration and anger and to appear undisturbed. But if our heart is full of the Savior’s love, we will respond to the jostling of an unexpected trial with patience and kindness. Like a full glass of water, what’s inside of us will spill over on the outside.
Lord, help me flee all sin and shame,
Lest I disgrace Your holy name;
And may I live that all may see
The Savior's love revealed in me. —DJD
When trouble grows, your character shows.