As I was driving to my office today and saw this on the side of the road I was prompted by the Lord to go back and take a picture of it. The Lord shares many spiritual insights with me using everyday things.
When alcohol was first sold in our county people who opposed that did so for many reasons. One was that we would begin seeing beer cans and bottles littering our streets. Sure enough, there isn’t a week that goes by during which I don’t spend some time gathering beer bottles that have been thrown on my lawn as people drive by.
This is not, though, an article about the evils of drinking.
This morning the Lord reminded me that many people who use alcohol and drugs often treat the people in their lives in the same way they treat the containers of their drugs and alcohol. They discard them when they have taken from them what they want.
Why were the bottles in that picture thrown by the roadside? They were empty. To the drinkers, the bottles only mattered as long as they contained something the drinkers wanted or needed. It is a tragic fact that this world actually encourages people to use others and discard them when they are no longer useable. This is why surrounding those who live chaotic lives are vast debris fields of broken people who love them.
This leads me to several important questions:
“Do you purposely or inadvertently use and discard other people as if they were empty beer bottles?
“Do you let others treat you this way which, in turn, causes you to feel worthless – a condition that just thrills the devil?
“Do you feel bad about this?”
Regarding that last question…it would be good if recognizing one of these dynamics is present in your life causes you to feel bad.
John 16:8 says that the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin. It is sin to treat poorly those that God has, as a gift, given to us to be in our lives.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
Likewise, it is sin to allow someone to disesteem the gift from God that you are.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
We should bear in mind, though, that as ambassadors of Christ people WILL reject us.
“Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake. ” (Luke 6:22)
So, we can expect to be occasionally rejected for our faith but, unless the Lord specifically tells us to stay there and take that kind of attack, He has a provision for us to remember for the stewardship of our souls:
“And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” (Luke 9:5)
It is my hope that what I have written thus far will provoke someone to repent…not merely turn around in behavior…but to have a change of mind about these things. It would be good that some will begin to treat those around them as the gifts they are from the Lord. It would also be good that others will refuse to be treated poorly by those wasting the gift that they truly are.
There is more though.
The Lord is also aware that many use Him like some use those beer bottles. Far too many of us turn to Him when we become aware that we need Him and then when we get what we think we need, we cast Him aside.
HOW TRAGIC and how wasteful!
“For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.” (Romans 14:9)
Jesus did NOT come to have a part time job in our lives…like some kind of day laborer, to be employed (and paid a pittance) when we needed Him and discarded when we were done with Him.
The word “Lord” means “Owner”. Jesus came to be our fulltime, 24/7, 365 day a year forever OWNER.
If you never have received Jesus as your Lord I urge you to do so. I’m going to quote a familiar verse and change it a little just to personalize it for you…..because that is what that verse means:
“For God so loved YOU that He gave His only begotten Son, that when YOU believe in (entrust your life to) Him YOU should not perish but YOU WILL have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
If you ever have received Jesus as your Lord it is my encouragement that you look at that verse and receive it for you as well. I encourage you: let’s allow the Lord to be the Lord in our lives.