I heard someone relate his grandmother’s wisdom regarding the half full/empty glass. She said, “People want to know if the glass is half-empty of half-full. Well, to my way of thinking, it all depends upon whether you’re drinking or pouring!”
There’s much in these words for the disciple of Jesus! If we take our behavioral cues from our consumer culture and define ourselves by what we have or can obtain, we’ll probably have difficulty viewing our glass as anything other than half-empty. Our continual focus will be upon what we don’t have and correspondingly, how we cannot be content until we possess the latest, greatest whatever. There’s a catch to this too. When we get whatever it was we had to have, our cup stays full for about fifteen minutes. That’s the amount of time it takes to hear about something else or see that someone else has something a little better than what we possess. You can see why Jesus warned us, “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions,” (Luke 12:15). Such is life when our primary focus is to drink.
When we chose to pour our story has a much better ending. When we view life as giving rather than receiving, there is much less pressure and much more peace. There is the genuine joy that comes from lending a helping hand to others. There is a buoyancy of spirit that the self-absorbed can never know. There is a wholeness of heart that comes from knowing we are following in the steps of Jesus. There is the difference between making a living and making a life. It is the difference between having all we want and wanting all we have.
Here’s to pouring! “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” (Acts 20:35).