Today I want to share a powerful life lesson with you—something that might even seem counter-intuitive to some who read this, but I truly believe it’s universal truth. I can see repeated examples in my own life, and in the lives of others around me.
I often find myself using the analogy of our lives being “vessels”.
We are vessels that hold life, get filled with life, and emptied of life. Some vessels are broken and leaky, some appear lovely on the outside, while others do not. Some are cleaner on the inside then others. Some vessels have no lid, while others have a lid on them. Some of these lids seal really tight, while others not so tight.
Let’s talk about the lid…
Clarifying this analogy, I see our vessels being the sum total of everything our personal worlds are comprised of. It’s all of who we are—our possessions, our ambitions, our desires, our future, our past, our hurts and failures along with our successes. It’s all of our experiences.
But here’s the thing…
We all have a tendency to put a lid on our lives.
So, why would you put a lid on a vessel?
Well, to keep things inside, right? To contain things we don’t want to spill out. Many times it’s to keep the contents fresh. In some cases the lid’s even lockable to protect the contents tightly.
A lid also keeps things out…
With a lid on our vessels, nothing can really get in. Let’s consider that for a moment…
I’m a person that believes everything I have in life is from God. All of my possessions, my experiences, my gifts, my talents, my future and my life, which is a vessel.
God is the one who made my vessel and filled my vessel—He’s provided everything. When my vessel is running dry, he can refresh it. He can make a full vessel overflow and then even increase the size of it. He can repair a broken vessel. He can clean the inside if it’s dirty.
While God is the one who creates it and fills it, he gives us the ability to use it—we get to choose how our vessels are filled and used.
So, what happens when we put a lid on?
- We keep whatever is inside from flowing…
- We don’t use it, but instead we contain it…
- We hold onto the contents…
Which usually comes from a scarcity mentality…
As humans, our default belief seems to be that everything we have is ours—that we earned it, it belongs to us and was intended for us. So we guard it, protect it and hold on tight. We are scared that the vessel (our lives) may run dry, and become empty of the things we’ve earned.
We barely open the vessel once in while, not to let something out, but instead to try to squeeze more into it.
If we look in the cupboards of our home, we will likely find some things sitting on a shelf, hidden, collecting dust, forgotten. It’s doing nothing. Don’t let your life be this way. You’re not living in abundance when you live this way.
Adopting an abundance mentality means throwing the lid away and letting the contents flow.
It’s means not being gripped by worry or fear that your vessel (your life) will run dry, more than anything because you know that God’s the one who really created it and filled it. And the same God can easily so much more to refill it.
An abundance mentality means a willingness to openly share knowledge, resources and the resources of your life with others. God constantly refreshes these people—he continues to come back and refill the vessel. They’re often filled to overflowing, in fact, and are given an even bigger vessel to fit more resources and more life experiences. In my experience, he gladly does so when the contents of that vessel are flowing in abundance and generosity to others.
He prefers your vessel be used…
…not sitting on a shelf collecting dust, tightly closed.
So, if this resonate with your life, then I encourage you to please throw away the lid.
What’s holding you back? I can promise you that God has plenty to go around—there’s no shortage of what he can give to you, but he wants to trust you to be abundant.
If you’re putting a lid on it, then there is no reason to come and refresh you, there’s no way you can overflow. And if you’re not overflowing, there’s no need for a larger vessel.
I want to see you all live and experience an abundant life. An abundance mentality is critical.
Look at your life as a vessel—how do you see yourself?
- Do you have a lid on it?
- Are the contents stale?
- Do you regularly pour yourself out to fill the vessels of others that are dry?
- Are you broken? Dry? Overflowing?
Give some serious thought to this.
And I’d love to hear any thoughts or comments below.
Great article and so true!
Great analogy Steve. I totally agree with you. I find that when I share, teach, encourage, that God’s life flows effortlessly through me.
I never thought of it in that way. It really got me thinking – do I fill up other people’s vessels? Thanks, Steve. I have a new way of looking at my life and the lives of those around me.
I love making people think. How will it change things?
Why is such a simple concept so hard to live out? Why don’t I trust God even though He has proved unfailingly faithful through every circumstance in my life? I’m struggling to develop a vision that isn’t totally self gratifying.
It is only hard because it is not what others around us are doing. It’s not the norm. However, it is also not hard to live out, but it starts with little steps. You don’t go from where you are not to being a free flowing vessel overnight. Each day ask yourself:
What is something little that I can do today? How can I help someone else today?
Then do it. One little step at a time 🙂
Like it says in Proverbs – a generous man will prosper and those who refresh others will be refreshed.
He wants to trust you to be abundant. In order to accomplish that, you must trust in his abundance. People who keep the lid on are lacking in that trust.