Empty your cup.
Inspired by the Gospel according Luke 15:1-10.
My husband and I have very different approaches to pretty much everything in life, and Tae Kwon Do was no exception.
I tend to try new things assuming that I know absolutely nothing. Then, I master the basics, and work my way up from there. Not so with my husband... Not so. He tends to burst out of the gate like a bull charging into an arena, even down to the part where he stops, snorts, gathers his bearings and searches for that cowboy he just flung off his back. In his line of work, this is an excellent personality trait. In so many other experiences in life, however, some reigning in is often involved.
"Empty your cup," our instructor would say to him. "I cannot fill your cup if it's already full. Empty your cup of what you think you already know, and I will fill it with actual knowledge."
Josh emptied his cup, became teachable, and won the sparring match in the only Tae Kwon Do tournament he ever competed in.
The problem with the Pharisees was that they were always coming to Jesus with full cups. Broken vessels, actually, with religious pride, legalism and arrogance just leaking out every which way. But they had convinced themselves that they already knew what they were doing, and not only did Jesus have nothing to add, but they needed to share their cups with Him.
Not these tax collectors and sinners in Luke 15, though. They had no pretense of having it all together. They already knew exactly what they were: broken and empty.
But honestly, can we blame the Pharisees for being uncomfortable with these notorious sinners? Let's be real: broken people are frustrating. They--we--are just so messy! Church life would be so much nicer if everyone could just be clean and fresh and well-mannered with nary a blemish in sight. The only problem with that, though--as nice as it sounds--is that it isn't always what authenticity looks like. Authentic Christianity can get uncomfortable on account of all the authentic sinners involved. We spend our lives confronting our own brokenness, the brokenness of others, and the way all of it contributes to Jesus' brokenness on the cross.
Authentic Christianity starts with a broken, empty cup. It's the process of God mending us, and filling us with Himself. And He is Love. That's why the angels rejoice more over one repentant sinner than a bunch of people who don't think they have anything to be sorry for.
How are we approaching Jesus these days? Are we humble and teachable? Or are we so full of ourselves to the point that we're only aware of what's wrong with everybody else?
Here's my cup, broken and empty. Please mend it, and fill it up with Yourself until my life is overflowing with Your Love.