“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” MATTHEW 12:34-35 NIV 

It had been a wonderful day at the beach, and now her husband stood in the kitchen cooking up her favorite corn and lobster bisque. As she and the whole family sat on the condo’s balcony enjoying the steady breeze and casual conversation, they’d occasionally catch the savory smell of fresh herbs and other seasonings that made the dish an easy success every time. But suddenly her husband started shouting, “No, no, no, nooooo!” They all looked inside to see what was happening. He seemed frantic. 

“What’s wrong?” They all wanted to know. 

“It burned!” he moaned. “The whole pot is ruined.” His shoulders sagged. “We’re going to have to throw it all out.” 

“Surely it can’t all be bad. Let me taste,” his wife encouraged. Immediately she knew he was right. By leaving his post for the few minutes it took to prepare a side dish, he’d left the heat on too high, and in an instant, the scorched bottom permeated the entire pot. 

Isn’t it frustrating when something meant to be so good goes bad? 

God agrees and gives us great direction to keep the goodness going. Like that pot of bisque, our souls simmer with the ingredients we pour into it. If we’re not careful, daily ingestion of toxic worldly messages can become beliefs that singe your whole soul with the stench of evil. So we need to be diligent to stir up our spirit and ask: Are we meditating on the promises of God and cultivating a thankful heart? Are we keeping short accounts and being quick to forgive so no bitter roots poison the roux? Are we staying in sync with God’s Spirit, keeping our sights on His plan and purpose? If so, the savory mix will waft into the world through our conversations and daily lives, blessing everyone around us who is hungry for life-giving encouragement. 

Father, You have given me everything I need for life and godliness—and it is very good. Help me to guard against worldly input and stinking thinking. Thank You, too, that Your forgiveness restores and makes me new. Nothing is ruined in Your hands! In Jesus’s name. 

This is an excerpt from True Sweetness: Growing in the Fruits of the Spirit – a devotional now available on DaySpring.com. Shop all books, journals, and devotions from DaySpring here.