Have you heard the analogy of filling up your cup in order to pour out? It is something I have lived by for a long time. I have always viewed it as needing to fill up my cup with the things that bring me joy and give me life, and once my cup is full, then I can pour out to those around me. Meaning that sometimes if I was personally feeling burnt out or beaten down I wouldn’t pour myself out to those around me like I would if my cup was full. I also viewed it as not being able to give my best self or ability to others. The thing is, I was filling my cup with the wrong things. Things that I selfishly wanted, thinking that they were going to make me happier, fuller, more ready to give of myself. I found myself left feeling even more empty. God has recently opened my eyes to a new way of viewing this analogy, and I want to share it with you!
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and researching lately on the way Jesus lived while He was here on Earth in the form of a human. I have been reminding myself of His humanness. Jesus slept, ate, cried, laughed, put clothes on, showered, walked, rested, all of the human things we can forget that He actually did too! I love remembering the simple things that Jesus also did, it makes Him so relatable.
“He existed in the form of God, yet he gave no thought to seizing equality with God as his supreme prize. Instead, he emptied himself of his outward glory by reducing himself to the form of a lowly servant. He became human! He humbled himself and became vulnerable, choosing to be revealed as a man and was obedient. He was a perfect example, even in his death—a criminal’s death by crucifixion!” – Philippians 2:6-8 TPT
While Jesus was here on Earth He emptied himself. As I read this passage the word emptied jumps out of the text and catches my attention every time. Jesus lived a life of continual emptying because He was continually overflowing with the love of God.
He knew and relied on the strength of God to fill Him with everything He was going to need for each day. He trusted that God would give Him the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that He needed in order to pour out.
You see, I think we have this whole filling of our cup analogy wrong. When we view it as needing to fill ourselves up with the things of this world in order to pour out, we are never going to have enough. The things of this world are never going to satisfy our deepest needs and longings.
When we choose to fill our cup up with time spent reading God’s word, sitting in His presence, worshiping Him, and being in communication with Him, our cup will continually be full. He will fill us with the strength and courage needed to be of continual emptying of ourselves to those around us, just as Jesus did.
“Be free from pride-filled opinions, for they will only harm your cherished unity. Don’t allow self-promotion to hide in your hearts, but in authentic humility put others first and view others as more important than yourselves. Abandon every display of selfishness. Possess a greater concern for what matters to others instead of your own interests. And consider the example that Jesus, the Anointed One, has set before us. Let his mindset become your motivation.” – Philippians 2:3-5
I think this is something so beautiful that we as children of God can begin to work on in this season of giving. May we begin to come before God and ask Him to fill us with what He wants us to pour out to those around us. We are all probably a little burnt out right now, this year has been very taxing mentally and emotionally on us all. What are the people around us needing? How can we give of ourselves to them, knowing and trusting that God is going to fill us with the very needs that we ourselves have? These are hard questions to ask when we feel in a place of defeat, but in our boldness, God will bless us with His faithfulness.
I believe that if we all began to live this verse out in our daily lives to the best of our ability amazing, God-ordained things would happen. When the mindset of Jesus becomes our motivation, nothing can stand against us. I feel like it is easy to be scared of continually giving of ourselves. We know ourselves pretty well, we know what we are like when we start to get burnt out. But when we continue to give ourselves for the glory of Jesus Christ, He will give us strength beyond understanding. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and He sees in us beautiful courage waiting to come to life as we trust in Him.
We are made strong because of the strength of Christ. He equips us with what we need when we exactly when we need it. He puts His words and thoughts in our minds and out of our mouths as we ask Him to intervene in our life. He wants to radiate His light through us, His shining lights. Ask Him to strengthen you, come to Him to be filled up, and pour the fruits of the Spirit out to those around you. He is so proud of you, and He delights in you, His beautiful beloved child.
Ally is a full time pediatric nurse in San Diego, and on her off days she is writing and creating art for her business Words Are Golden. She is a big fan of Jesus, lover of all things pink, drinks iced coffee every day, and loves to cook and bake new recipes for her friends and family.
Say hi to her on Instagram!: @wordsaregolden