Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Lessons from a Tea Bag"

"Since the Fall of man in the Garden of Eden, man has attempted to blame someone or something for his trouble. Adam attempted to shift responsibility to Eve, and Eve pointed an accusing finger at the serpent. God's word is clear, however, that our real problems are not the result of pressures from someone or something outside ourselves. We do not sin because of financial, social, medical, or circumstantial  pressures. We sin because each of us has a sinful heart.

We can illustrate this biblical truth this way. When we take a tea bag, place it in a teacup and fill the cup with hot water, the water activates the tea in the bag, unleashing its taste into the water around it. The hot water didn't create the taste; it merely revealed, or drew out, what was already in the bag. 

This depicts what happens in the human heart. The pressures around us (the unfavorable circumstances, the temptations, and the commands of God to Him and our neighbor) merely draw out of our heart what is already in it. We cannot blame the hot water for the taste in the cup. The contents of the tea bag determine the flavor of the tea. If we don't like the particular taste, we need to put into the water a bag containing a different kind of tea.

Similarly, we cannot shift the blame for any bitterness, anger, despair, deception, cruelty, and so forth that we display when we are under pressure. The pressures merely expose how unlike Christ we really are. "  --from Jim Berg's book Changed Into His Image

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