Rivals

Dec. 19

I Corinthians 6:12

“Everything is permissible for me–but not everything is beneficial.”

Christmas is indeed upon us! All the decorating, the parties and cookies for baking and the hustle and bustle are in full swing. My hubby and I were wrapping gifts together the other night and reflecting about gift-giving at Christmas time. The more you age, the less you care about getting gifts and it becomes about what you can give instead of what you get.

A few years ago, my teapot bit the dust and wanted a better coffee maker so I asked for a new one for a Christmas gift. Sure enough, Christmas morning we tested out my new Cuisinart coffee/hot water dispenser and it was wonderful for us and the kids (hot cocoa). As I set up my coffee machine my question was, “How does this thing work?”  Logically, I figured that if I had a coffee machine, I better know how to use the thing when I have to entertain my guests. I read about the correct amount of water to put in, the best tasting coffee and how many scoops you need to make it great.   I can now say that I have mastered my machine.   {Proud smile}

Of course I didn’t want to waste the warm liquid I worked so hard to make, I began to drink it more regularly and I helped my hubby to enjoy some too of course! Then add the yummy creamers and wow, what a delicious drink! I enjoyed starting my morning off with a warm, sweet, and delicious cup of coffee just like millions of other people. Life was good.

For years now, I have had a love/hate relationship with consuming coffee. I have (reluctantly) consumed coffee to help perk me up while I was doing an early shift at work, and in college I used it to keep me awake for late night study sessions. I used my legal drug to keep myself from sleeping or falling asleep.

I didn’t need the stuff and preferred to not drink it unless I had to. I don’t know how people drink it black, yuck! Now, I was drinking it because I wanted a pick-me-up to get through my day. I heard a small quiet voice saying, “Do you really need that, my love?”

My wake up call came early one Saturday morning. I was jolted awake by a splitting headache about the time I usually would have drank my cup of coffee. This occurrence definitely alarmed me! Another instance came up as well, my well-meaning 6 year old was at a kid’s function where they were giving stuff away to a good home…he came home and placed before me a coffee pot maker minus a carafe. Ironically, the brand name was ‘Rival’. Coincidence? I don’t think so…(LOL)

Again, I heard that still small voice whisper to my heart, “I will not be mastered by anything.” All that preparation to master my coffee machine but now my question was, “Was I mastering my coffee pot or was it mastering me?”

A true ‘rival’ was beginning to surface in my life. I was daily choosing to allow caffeine into my body to be a helper. Instead of helping, it gave me the jitters, headaches, and I found myself getting cranky on the days I didn’t have it at all. It’s pretty bad when you don’t even want to be around yourself!

It’s scary to think of all the “masters” we can allow into our lives. Money, people, computers, cell phones, food, having things, shoes, coffee, etc. All these things creep into our lives one day at a time until we are unable to function without them. “Everything is permissible but, not everything is beneficial…” Am I being mastered by anything?

I’m not stating that these things are necessarily evil or a person is sinful if they enjoy doing something, it’s the NEED for it that I’m speaking of. Am I dependent on something other than God to get me through my day? Do I need _______ more than I need God? As leaders in ministry, our daily choices (big or small) will affect the people that God has given to us to minister to. Wow! What a sobering thought and responsibility on our shoulders!

Oh Lord, please, please, reveal to me the area(s) that I am not relying upon you to be my all sufficient. Help me to be a great example of you to my family, friends, non-believers, and church family in every word, thought and action! May I be totally dependent upon you for all that I am and all that I need, Amen!

~Melody

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