_ Ever play the game Imaginiff?  It is a board game where you are presented with a scenario about an individual playing the game, and you are asked to comment on the scenario based on the characteristics of that person.  Example: “Imaginiff Kenny was a type of candy bar.  What type would he be?  1. Milky Way  2. Snickers  3. Baby Ruth  4. Payday  5. Whatchamacallit  6. Butterfinger.”  At that point, all of the players will display their selected answers simultaneously and those that vote in the majority advance on the game board.  Meanwhile, everyone is laughing at Kenny because everyone voted for numbers 1 and 3 because he is the short, pasty kid of the group.  It is good times had by all.

To be honest, I cannot stand the game and I only play it because I don’t want my friends that like it to think I hate them.  I’m a good friend like that.  However, the “what if” set-up is one that I think we all give in to a little bit every day.  It is almost impossible not to wonder how we would react if we were in the shoes of other people.  We cannot help but think we would handle a situation differently than somebody that seemed to react in the wrong way.  But how can we know for sure?

The pastor at my church uses an illustration every now and again that makes it easier for me to picture how I would react in certain situations.  Consider the sponge.  (That sounds all philosophical, right?  I thought so.)  Whenever you squeeze a sponge, what comes out of it?  Obviously, it is whatever the sponge has been soaking in.  However, that is not always obvious from the surface.  The sponge may feel dry and light, as if it was brand new.  But if you press it up against a wall, you will be able to see where it has been and whatever gunk in which it has been spending its time.

Similarly, when people find themselves in a pressure filled situation where they are forced to react, it is often easy to tell how they have been spending their time and what they have truly been soaking in.  If they have been spending time in the Bible and focusing on pure forms of entertainment, it is very likely that the love of Christ will ooze out of them.  If somebody has been soaking in things that are not pure (violence, anger, lust, judgment, gossip), it will be easy to see the filthy mess coming out when they find themselves in a tight spot.

So what does that mean for you?  You are the only person that knows what things you focus on when nobody else is around.  Are you soaking in pure, holy things, or do you spend your time in the muck? 

What types of things would we see coming out of you if you were pressed against a wall?

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