I love coffee. If you think about it, coffee can be quite the loyal companion, it wakes you up in the morning, stays with you through the late-night study sessions, holds close friends together through a medium which can be used for deep conversations or lighthearted banter, and um…it tastes great! Let’s face it, coffee is a fundamental aspect of the American culture. But even more noticeably it’s a larger part of the Christian culture within the United States.
Walk into any coffee-shop in Manhattan, KS (where I currently reside), in Olathe, KS (my hometown), or anywhere else (where you live), and I can almost GUARANTEE you that there will be at least 1-2 individuals in there with their Bible cracked open or casually reading one of John Piper’s latest books. That’s great! I love that people have a hunger for the Word of God, are active in fellowship with one another, and are seeking to think more deeply on topics of theology that can be daunting without the assist of a great book, etc.
But here’s something to consider…Do you and I love coffee(shops) more than we love the individuals around us? Is it possible that we love coffee more than Jesus?
Now, at first glance, that just sounds utterly ridiculous, right? I feel slightly foolish suggesting such a thing as a plausible concept. But humor me for just a moment and continue reading for the sake of me developing my argument a bit more. There are many people that I know who can be found inside a coffee-shop on a daily basis, or at least several times a week. It’s literally a religious practice to them; much like a devout Catholic attends mass and visits the church many times a week. On top of the amount of time we spend inside the church/cathedral, we’re also spending quite possibly 10% or MORE of our income on this luxury a week, much like a tithe. See where I’m going with this?
What if coffee-shops and coffee in general have become a greater devotion for us than our relationships with Christ? The reality is that our spirits are thirsty, but not for coffee, they’re thirsty for the living waters that only the Holy Spirit is capable of providing us with.
Am I against coffee-shops? Absolutely not. In fact, I’m one of those individuals you’ll likely run into at Starbucks and other venues. Here’s my point, I don’t want anything to begin taking precedence over my relationship with Christ, or to be hindering my ability to reach out to and serve others within my community. So if cutting back on coffee is what it takes to lead just one more person into the Kingdom of God, I want to do it. I simply invite you to evaluate your heart alongside me and to live righteously at all costs.
Finally, I leave you with this thought I had earlier, which I will be seeking to apply to my daily life: “Attempting to justify oneself is simply an excuse for not living above reproach in the first place. So let’s live like Christ, man up, and attempt to pursue holiness with every fiber of our being.”