Paper Plates and Walmart Bags

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any sin, you who are spiritual [that is, you who are responsive to the guidance of the Spirit] are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness [not with a sense of superiority or self-righteousness], keeping a watchful eye on yourself, so that you are not tempted as well.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:1‬ ‭AMP‬‬

It’s not what we say, but how we say it.

At this point in my walk, I’m being chiseled by the Sweet Spirit, to sound more like Him.

Remember that wanting to be Mama Bear, but sounding like Gru post?

Packaging says a lot.

As a matter of fact, one of my favorite scriptures is this:

A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men. Proverbs 18:16

This brings me back to last Christmas, and seeing the display of packages aligning the wall.

My Aunt Carmen’s gift drew much attention.

The beautiful bag and matching tissue paper.

The ribbon and twine.

Mine on the other hand, was probably a Walmart sack, or brown bag.

Maybe I upped my game and used a re-“gift” bag.

And I’m pretty sure I hurried and ran by the store to get my gift on the way.

I showed up with a gift, but how I presented it, says much about the condition of my heart.

I’m a procrastinator.

Guilty as charged.

And, I tend to focus on the meat and potatoes,

the dinner part,

and serve it up on a paper plate.

I can spend hours preparing the “food” but then when it comes to serving it up,

I’m tired.

I don’t want to have to think of doing the dishes also.

So, paper plates are, fine, with me.

But I hear the Holy Spirit loud and clear, yet gentle and peaceful like that ribbon and twine packaging-

“Come up higher.”

“Cook the dinner and get the real plates out.”

Again, no body cares what you know until they know that you care.

There is a balance, yes.

Some packages can be beautiful, only to open up to find that what’s inside is far less appealing than you thought.

I don’t want to be the beautiful wrapped, ugly hearted person.

Nor do I want to be the Walmart sack filled with diamonds.

I believe God desires us to be both.

I’ve been studying from the book of Esther.

I’m seeing things-

in that deposit of wealth God has given me,

that I haven’t seen in ways before.

They both had beauty.

The two queens.

But one was just packaging.

Vashti was extraordinarily beautiful, but lacked the love that would help heal the King’s heart.

She was more concerned of her image and how she would be treated.

Self Preservation.

Although we look at her story and think she did nothing wrong,

She was simply standing up for herself,

We know how God intended the story to go-

By the end result.

On the other hand,

Esther also seemingly treated unfair,

(All she wanted to do was take care of, and be with her people. Snatched up from her own home and brought to a petty beauty contest. About to be betrothed to a man, without consent on her part, who seemingly had an eye for women and was full of pride. He also liked to get drunk. To say “not right” is an understatement.)

was not only beautiful on the outside,

But the inside as well.

And her gift, made room for her.

She Trusted her God so deeply, that she was willing to sacrifice her life for others-

Even if it meant her death.

The King, was the same King in both marriages.

That’s what I gleaned most recently that jolted me.

The “gift” was the same, but different packaging.

The King was a great man.

I’m not saying that because of how he acted, but because God sees everyone as great.

I believe the great men our gifts make room for, is the whole world Jesus paid for.

We are all of “great” value in His sight.

He’s not willing that any perish.

He gave His life for us- we aren’t and weren’t cheap.

Not only did Esther save her people, but her light so shined, that other Gentiles believed in her God as well.

I’m under heavy construction right now, Brothers, and Sisters.

This book is speaking volumes.

To all of us.

We’ve all been given “great” men and women in our lives.

Some of them aren’t acting like it.

We, weren’t acting like it at one time.

Still don’t at times.

What the King did to Vashti was wrong.

He wanted to parade her in front of other men and show off in his pride.

But even though He was rough around the edges,

The Goodness of His heart was drawn out by Esther.

Sacrificial Love will always draw others.

Everything points to our Savior.

He said,

If I Be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.

Now, we all have the potential to be “great” men because of what Jesus has done.

Are we willing to let His gift, in us, make room to draw their hearts?

Am I just a Walmart sack and paper plates?

Having a great gift inside, but not drawing anyone to want to explore what’s in there.

As I’m writing, I hear this just now, again after several times;

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. Isaiah 53:2

And I’m like, Holy Spirit that doesn’t match what I thought you were trying to share.

Was Jesus like the Walmart sack?

As I look at it, He reminds me-

Jesus became what we weren’t, so we could become what He truly is.

We weren’t beautiful.

None of us.

I don’t care what kind of figure or fashion sense, or beauty that’s deemed to anyone by any man.

We had “no form.”

Do you remember when God spoke over the earth?

What does Genesis 1 say about it?

That the worlds were without form, and void.

Void of anything to be desired.

BUT GOD, Rich in Mercy…

Spoke beauty.

Spoke Life.

Spoke Light.

Drew with His Words, what He desired in His heart for it- the earth, and us.

Jesus personified, took on what we looked like.

He became all things with us.

For us.

So that we could become what God has always said about us….

In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. Isaiah 4:2

 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Isaiah 52:7

Let’s let the gift inside, be displayed by the fruit of the Spirit outside-

And bring Jesus (the Ultimate Gift) before great men.

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