Today’s Truth

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of (Luke 6:45 NIV).

Friend to Friend

What is really inside will come spilling out for all to see when life puts the squeeze on us. My Mama used to say, “What’s down in the well comes up in the bucket.” In other words, a crisis will usually reveal what is really in our hearts. What is down in the well of your heart will come up in the bucket of your words.

It is easy to do and say the right things when life is calm and everything is going right, but what we say and do when chaos hits and the pressure is on tends to paint a more accurate picture of who we really are. It is kind of like sponge theology.

Suppose you have five sponges lying on your kitchen counter. Each member of your family has been cleaning different areas of your home, but the sponges all look the same. You are curious about what was cleaned but you can’t tell just by looking at the sponges since they all look the same. So, what do you do?

You squeeze each sponge to see what happens.

As you squeeze the first sponge, brown cola comes pouring out. Someone cleaned the kitchen with that sponge.

Upon squeezing the second sponge, you see blue tub-and-tile cleaner oozing out of the sponge which leads you to believe someone used that sponge to clean the bathroom.

In the third sponge, you find motor oil and conclude your husband used that sponge to clean the garage.

The fourth sponge produces a puff of baby powder when it is squeezed. The baby’s nursery was obviously cleaned with that sponge.

Finally, the last sponge is dripping with floor wax which tells you someone used that particular sponge to clean the hall floor. As you lay the last sponge down, you look again at their similarity. They all look the same — until they are squeezed.

We are a lot like sponges when it comes to our faith in God. Luke sends a simple but profound truth in his words:

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45 NIV).

We look and act as if God is Lord of our lives. We say all the right things to all the right people and do the right things in order to prove we are right. But what is really inside? What do our hearts really look like?

When a crisis comes and the pressures of life squeeze us mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, what comes out? Do we respond to that difficult person in anger or with patience and love? Does revenge spill out in ugly words to that person who has hurt us more times than we can count, or do we take a breath and remember that God loves them, and that hurt people tend to hurt people? Does the pain of unresolved sin flood our hearts and minds as guilt spills out of our heart with a vengeance?

Just like the sponge, we can only squeeze out what is put in. Fill your heart with the things of God. Stay in the Word each day. Spend time with faith builders who will encourage you in your faith. Seek God and His plan for your life. Pray about everything so that when life puts the squeeze on you – and it will – the very nature of God will come pouring out.

Let’s Pray

Father, I want my faith to be more than just talk. I want it to be real and authentic. Teach me how to walk in the grace You have so freely given me so that when the hard times come and the pressure is on, You come pouring out of my life.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

How did you respond to the last person who hurt you? What does that tell you about the condition of your heart? Time to check your heart!

More from the Girlfriends

As a pastor’s wife, I have talked with so many women who feel as if they were worthless, a freakish accident. Listen, my friend, you were planned and wanted by God. God is crazy about you and wants an intimate relationship with you.  I pray that you will see yourself in the eyes of God, a chosen child.

Need help? Check out one of Mary’s MP3 downloads, Come as You Are to discover how to see yourself through the eyes of God.

© 2022 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.

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6 Responses to “The Squeeze is On!”

  1. Cynthia Neville says:

    Thank you for the devotional this morning. In our Sunday School class yesterday, we talked about hurting people. There are many, I want to be more sensitive to others.

  2. Carol says:

    Thanks, Mary for this Mon. am inspiration for the week!
    The small phrase at the end of the verse was a highlight, “…For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” is my reminder of Psalm 19:14, regarding our words vs. our hearts meditations. Something I work on, with the Lord’s help everyday!
    Bless you for the reminder of being sensitive to others, before we put in our two cents!

  3. Thank you so much for your email. And you are so welcome! We all need to be more sensitive. There are so many hurting people who need the love of Jesus … through us.



  4. Carol, thank you for your email. I am so glad God used it to touch your life. My mother used to say “What’s down in the well comes up in the bucket.” So true!



  5. Maura McCoy says:

    Hi Mary
    I’m late to the party! But I made it.
    Monday’s devotional was such a great reminder for me. Is what I present to my world really what’s in my heart? It had better be!
    I belong to a recovery group called NarAnon. Much of this devotional is applicable to our message of support and recovery. I hope to share what I’ve learned.

    Thank you!

  6. Sue says:

    Thank you Mary for allowing God to use you to encourage others! My husband has Alzheimer’s I have fallen into the role as his care giver this role gets so tiring and most days I come away feeling very defeated! My words are not always pleasant as he is very angry most days and hard to reason with, therefore God has to remind me often to search my own heart! I will remember this scripture and you words, thank you!

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8