by Sandy Kirby Quandt
We’ve heard the saying of how tea grows stronger the longer it steeps in hot water as a way to encourage us when we find ourselves in tough spots, knowing God is strengthening us through the process.
As someone who drinks strong tea made from loose jasmine tea leaves, I understand the analogy. I do love a cup of hot, strong, jasmine tea, and while I don’t enjoy being dunked in the boiling water of life’s trials, I understand the purpose.
The other day as I made myself a small pot of tea, I made a discovery. The custom for brewing tea leaves in a teapot is one teaspoon per cup, plus one for the pot. What I discovered while making this particular pot of tea is this. If I don’t pay attention, and I allow the loose tea to sit in my teapot of boiling water for too long before I remove them, those few teaspoons of leaves swell and take over the inside of the pot.
When left in the teapot to steep for too long, the tea leaves become cold and bitter. The once pleasant tasting tea is now undrinkable. There is nothing left to do but throw it out.
As is my way, my thoughts wandered, and I realized those bitter, swollen tea leaves were a lot like grudges. The longer we let them steep inside us, the colder and more bitter they become. They expand and take up room in our hearts, removing all the sweetness that should be there. There’s nothing to do with those grudges except to throw them out.
Just as I need to pay attention to how long I allow my tea to steep, we need to pay attention to how long we allow our hurts and grudges to fester. If we aren’t careful, they can become cold and bitter and swell to proportions that squeeze out everything that is good.
If you drink hot tea, do you have a preference? Tea bags or loose tea?
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Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. Ephesians 4:31 (CEV)
I wish you well.
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