This verse will always make me think of my Grandpa Jim because as my Dad says, if you jostle him a hymn comes out. He is in a constant state of sloshing out goodness. If you imagine your heart as a bucket, full to the brim with something sweet, when some of it gets spilled, it will still be sweet. On the other hand if your heart is full to the brim with bitterness, when you are jostled in some way, bitterness will come out.
We all know what it is like to accidentally slosh someone who is full of bitterness. Maybe you are clogging up the line at the grocery store and they are harumphing around at you. Maybe they are flipping you off as they make a traffic blunder. Maybe you just happened to be near when someone backed up the dump-truck of resentments and began unloading. But whatever the case we know that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.
When you live in constant contact with people, you will have ample opportunity to see what kind of thing is coming out when you are jostled. If you have children, it is like hiring full time jostlers. People with new and creative methods for finding out what is in mom’s heart. They specialize in the unexpected, in the surprise splash. And this is why we should be thankful for jostlers. Because in reality when ugly things come out, it wasn’t put there by them. Our children do not create the frustration, they reveal it. Our spouses do not make us selfish, they reveal our selfishness. Difficult situations are not where ugliness is born, it is what makes the ugliness we have been nurturing come to light.
When people bump us, it is an opportunity to evaluate what we have been storing up. We are children of God. We have new hearts. What are we doing treating this ugly junk like treasure? Anything that we make on our own – that comes from our natural selves is going to be worthless. It is going to be foul. But because we have the love of Christ and forgiveness of sins, we are free to store up great treasure. We are free to pack the storehouse of our souls with valuable treasure – with things that will bless others.
Through God’s great kindness to us, we have all that it takes to become the kind of women who bless everyone who imposes on them. We can be people who splash out with mercy and joy and patience and love. We can overflow God’s kindness to us on all those around us. We have an abundance of good treasure – but only through Christ.
So if you notice yourself being snarky or bitter or resentful or accusing – ask God to clean out your storehouse. Ask Him to stock the shelves with the kind of treasure that He wants you to share with others. And then rejoice in every opportunity to share it. Be thankful for the jostles that give you an opportunity to share the good treasure you have been given.