“Pretend that I have a bowl of water in my hands and I shake it vigorously and water splashes out of the bowl. And suppose I ask you why water spilled out of the bowl, and you answer that it spilled because I shook it. It all sounds pretty logical, doesn’t it? But the answer is only partially correct. Why did water splash out of the bowl? Because water was in the bowl. If the bowl had been filled with milk, you could shake it for eternity and water would never spill out of it. In the same way, it is very important for parents to understand and humbly admit that when we are shaken by the sin, weakness, rebellion, foolishness, or failure of our children, what comes out of us (words, actions, attitudes) is what is already inside us.” - Paul Tripp

This can be a hard pill to swallow! What this means is the ongoing issue we face is not our kids’, spouse’s, co-workers’, and family’s problem. It’s ours. No one can force us to say and do anything. What comes out has already been there. The cause behind our actions has been hiding out in our heart, probably for a long time! The people we have in our life are simply giving our heart the opportunity to reveal itself in words and actions. Jesus says it like this, “How can you being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” (Matt. 12:34-35)

If we continue to shift blame to others for our bad attitudes, actions, and words, we will fail to reach out for the help that is ours; the forgiving and transforming grace of Jesus. Praise the Lord, you can change! You don’t have to be ensnared by sin and it’s patterns any longer. With the power of God’s grace and working of the Holy Spirit in our life, we can begin and continue to produce good treasure that our circumstances can’t steal!

For more from Paul Tripp, check out his book Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family

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