Tea Bag Philosophy
David makes a pot of coffee in the morning and drinks from it throughout the day. But I’m a tea drinker. A cup of tea causes you to slow down, to wait, to get involved in the process of brewing. And it’s hard to gulp a cup of tea – the distinctive flavors of herbal teas beg to be enjoyed. To me, coffee tastes like, well, coffee – some stronger, some weaker, but still it’s coffee.
There’s a brand of tea I drink which offers a variety of leaf combinations from plants known to offer various ministrations to the human body, such as: quieting an upset stomach, boosting the immune system, soothing a cough, cleansing the liver, etc. I drink the teas of herbs and plants that God placed here for our nourishment, health and enjoyment.
These teas are based on herbal remedies passed down from generation to generation, from a time when people lived close to the land. People who realized that we have a symbiotic relationship to the earth that we inhabit. God created the earth as a place for us to live and He created us to take care of the planet – or as the Bible says in Genesis, “to have dominion over it and subdue it.”
Anyway, one particular brand that I use has tags on the tea bags with pithy little sayings on them – some profound and some mind boggling in their combination of words that are, frankly, meaningless. I have to do mental gymnastics to make sense of the content.
This morning’s philosophical offering was, “The other person is you.” Okay, what? Obviously, I am me and you are you – each unique in our make-up, with private thoughts and feelings and beliefs and histories. But perhaps there is a sense in which I need to think of the other person as “me”. Jesus taught us to “treat others as we would like to be treated”. Given their circumstances, how would I most likely benefit from or respond to what kind of treatment? which choice of words? which tone of voice?
The Bible further says that in our treatment of others we should be “speaking the truth in love”. Some people like to speak the truth to others, informing them as to how they got where they are what they should do about it. But that love part can get tricky. That’s where we need to rely on the Spirit of Christ who lives in us. God is love. Even as He disciplines His children, the platform He operates from is love. When love is your character, your very nature, you cannot operate apart from love. You won’t treat one person with love and another with disdain.
Hey! There are people who tire me with their complaining and endless talk, their finger pointing or excuse making, their self-focus and self-pity, their seeming inability or lack of desire to change. But there is no excuse for unkind treatment from me. I don’t think Jesus would shut them out.
So getting back to the morning tea bag – I was thinking that this week my focus will be to attempt to see the other person as a human being like me; with the same needs for affirmation, encouragement, healing, provision and someone to love them and speak the truth to them out of that love. Because it’s the truth delivered in love that sets people free.
So what’s on your tea bag tag today? And how does your life philosophy compare to that of our Creator? Are you living more out of the tea bag tag, or out of the character of your heavenly Father?
©2011, Marcy Alves
Posted on June 29, 2011, in Christian Growth, Follow Me, God Encounters, Reflections and tagged acceptance, Christian life, coffee, creation, God’s love, golden rule, love. tea bags, man & earth, tea, truth. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.