One Too Many Glasses

For most of us pitchers, we have too many glasses to pour into. Somedays it seems endless, the number of people who need a drink of us. Most of our glasses, those people who need us to pour into them over and over, are supposed to be there, and we do need to continue to pour. Our children, grandchildren, friends, parents, coworkers (this list goes on and on), they need us, and it’s a good thing that we are pouring into their lives.

Today’s blog is more about our discernment. Are all those glasses really ours to pour into? I know in my history, I have continued to pour into others long after my season was over. When we have needy people who expect us to pour, it’s too hard to tell them no. We as the pourer have set a standard and the pouree expects us to continue. No is such a difficult word to say when the need is great.

Here’s my point: Sometimes we hinder God’s work in the lives of others when we continue to pour, bail out, give money to, enable, whatever you want to call it. At times, those we love need a larger dose of Jesus and a lesser dose of us. No matter our good intentions, we can’t solve the problems of everyone. If we continue to soften the blow of the consequences of others’ choices, how will they learn? If we keep carrying them, how will their legs become strong enough to walk? If they never feel the burn, why would they ever stop reaching for the flame? Enough cliches, but you get my point.

I return to the word discernment. You absolutely must learn to use discernment when dealing with others. You need to learn to pray about the extent of your involvement in the lives of those who expect you to pour. And just as important, you need to learn how to hear God’s response. Learn to listen and heed His direction through the Word and by His Spirit. It is one of the most freeing feelings to tell someone no when you know God has given you the answer. The one who hears no won’t enjoy or understand your position, but that’s not your responsibility.

One of the clearest ways God has given me a “butt out” was on the 19th of the month one year many years ago. I was praying about the expectations of someone close to me, something they pretty much demanded I do for them. That morning I read in my quiet time, as I always do, in a continuous flow of reading. Meaning, I didn’t go and search for the answer. I picked up where I had left off the day before. At that time I was reading a chapter in Proverbs each day – which I highly recommend for wisdom. I got to this verse: “A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty: if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.” Proverbs 19:19

You can’t imagine how well that verse fit my situation that day. When I said no to the person and situation, I wasn’t popular with more than one person I loved. But oh, well, God was on my side. Remember, I’m not saying this is easy, but to do the best for people who need more Jesus and less you, you are loving them well when you give them God’s no.

Now for you: What situations have you faced where an unpopular no was best for someone you cared for?

Thanks for hanging with me again today.
Blessings to you and all your glasses. 😉

Why Am I An Empty Glass

In my first blog of the series, I ask that you consider yourself with sober judgment and decide if you are the pitcher or the glass in the “pouring into others relationship.” So what happens if you’re the glass? What does that mean? When I first came up with the title of today’s blog at the beginning of the series, I didn’t have this thought in mind. It just came to me yesterday when I was running over some ideas for this post.

If you’re still an empty glass, then you’ve most likely been drinking other people’s Living Water rather than your own. You may listen to pastors, teachers, and others and find out what God has spoken to them through His Word, but you aren’t seeking God on your own. Jesus is the Living Water. If you aren’t pursing an active relationship with Him through His Word, prayer, and quiet time with Him, then you are running on empty. It makes sense that you feel the need for others to continually fill you. Remember, it may make sense, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to continue on being the fillee and never the filler.

With busy lives and hectic schedules, it is tempting to operate in the premise that Sunday Jesus is enough. He’s not. You need Jesus to be an active part of your every day life. You need to see what the scriptures are saying to you specifically, how they guide you and speak into your life and circumstance. Bible studies and worship services are a wonderful addition, but if you are not meeting with Jesus daily, you will never have what you need to get through this life. Only Jesus fills.

Well meaning family and friends can sprinkle some of what they have on you, but soon enough you will be yearning again for a fresh drink. They can pour and pour, so much that you become a drain on them, and still you will expect more. It’s unfair to those who love you.

Here is part of a conversation that Jesus had with the woman at the well as recorded in John 4:

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Notice in verse 14 where Jesus says that what He gives “will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” What He gives is continual. Beyond salvation, He offers Living Water day after day that will satisfy the deepest need. We think that people and things will somehow fill or complete us. If they do at all it’s only momentary, but soon enough, we are longing for more. What I’ve discovered to be the most transformation truth of my life is that Jesus fills. Jesus completes. Jesus is enough.

So stop sipping on the Living Water of others. Pursue the Living Water on your own. Drink and be filled and never thirst again.

As a first step, go back and read the entire conversation between Jesus and this Samaritan woman when you get a chance. It’s packed with many truths that we, as women, can identify with.

Blessings to you, and as always, I value your feedback. Please feel free to share with a friend.



Pouring from an Empty Pitcher

We all try to pour from an empty pitcher at times. It’s like trying to be superwoman is baked into our DNA. People ask, so we pour and we pour and we pour until we ourselves are empty. I don’t care who you are or how strong your faith walk with Jesus, you need to continually be filled. I think those with the strongest walk often fall victim to the mentality that they can do it all. You can’t. God can. God will. And He may do it through you, but only when you are filled first.

I know this is an overused analogy, but it’s like riding on a plane with a child. You will be told that if the cabin pressure fails, a mask will drop down. Counterintuitive to what you think, you are told to place the mask on you first – then the child’s. If you pass out, no one will be there to help that child. It’s an overused analogy for a reason, the truth of it. If you’re a mom or wife or business professional or ministry leader or all of the above, you need to be filled in order to fill others and to fill all the roles you are assigned in this life.

We know this, we are told this, but still we keep trying to pour without being filled. Why? Since I’ve been filled and I’ve been empty, I can only look at my own history and try to figure out why I didn’t seek to be filled.

I’ve come up with two reasons:

1) I didn’t believe that the Word of God could fill.
That was my biggest mistake and what led to my own worst seasons. No matter how many times preachers and teachers and speakers would tell me that all that I needed could be found in God’s Word, I didn’t believe them. I had tried and failed and given up. I tried, instead, to walk this thing out on my own. (I still shake my head at myself and my unbelief.) Besides the Word, I didn’t believe Jesus was enough. I kept looking for Jesus plus. I believed that other things could fill me. Always a lie. So my truest issue was belief, what I believed vs. what I didn’t believe.

2) I underestimated how vital it was to continually be filled.
I couldn’t be filled one day a week. I needed Jesus – the Word – daily. That included reading His Word, prayer, and listening. I’m not saying that we have to read ten chapters a day. I tried so many reading plans that left me frustrated. To have some predefined length of material kept me from hearing God. Or if I did sense He was speaking through a particular verse, I had to keep reading past it in order to stay on track. Now, I read whatever I feel led to read. I do keep a normal flow of reading going. Where I leave off one day, I begin the next. Some days I may read ten verses and others two. We have made this so academic that we don’t allow for the Spirit to speak and move. (Maybe more on the reading topic another day.)

The point is: You need Living Water to be pouring water.

Last week I asked you to consider yourself with sober judgment. Are you the pitcher or the glass? If you are a pitcher, this week I want you to take a look at yourself and pray. Are you running around sprinkling a droplet here and there, or are you filled and able to fill others?

Don’t worry glasses, we will get to you next week in the post: Why am I an empty glass?

Blessings to you and yours,