The Squeeze

by Andy Wood on October 4, 2010

in Five LV Laws, LV Cycle, Principle of Freedom, Protecting Your Investment

Maybe I’m weird (okay who said that?).  But this video fascinates me, and I can watch it over and over.

Maybe it’s the technology involved in capturing the motion.  Or…

Maybe it’s because it illustrates an important truth I learned years ago:

Q. – Squeeze an orange until something gives, and what comes out? 

A. – Orange juice.

Q. – Why does orange juice come out?

A. – Because orange juice is what’s inside.

Q. – So what comes out of you when you get squeezed?

A. – Whatever is inside.

The Squeeze.  Can you relate?  The truth is, sometimes the world or the devil or life-in-general comes calling, and there ain’t room enough in this here peel for the both of us.  Something’s gotta give. 

And out it comes… whatever is on the inside.

That’s why I just smile whenever I hear somebody blurt out something, then hurriedly say, “Oh… I didn’t mean to say that.” 

Maybe not.  But the only reason it came out was because it was in there in the first place.  “Out of the abundance of the heart,” Jesus said, “the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34) 

The Tension

Maybe that explains why Peter was encouraging some believers who were going through really tough times and stopped midstream to say:

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good (1 Peter 2:1-3, NIV).

Come on, Pete!  Cut us some slack!  Life sorta stinks right now, and the last thing we need is somebody telling us our attitudes stink, too.

But Peter was writing to believers who lived in a tension between two realities.  He still is.  On one extreme, they (and we) have “tasted that the Lord is good.”  On the other extreme, they have “tasted” that the world can be harsh and hostile.    

The Decisions of your Character

When life or the world squeezes, two things quickly become evident – what’s in your character (your decisions) and what’s in your heart (your desires).  Apparently, when these first-century believers were put into the vice, something came out of them other than godliness.  That’s why Peter says there are some things they need to “put aside.”

Peter wasn’t talking in abstract theory here.  He didn’t hedge and say, “You know, you may want to watch out for some ugly stuff flying out of you.”  Obviously he’d heard a few things.  And in as kind a way as possible, he was insisting that they deal with it.

What I appreciate, however, is what Peter didn’t say.  He didn’t say “Get freaked about these things,” or “Grovel to God about these things.”  Just deal with it.

Simple illustration:  Late-night run to Seven Eleven produced late-date milk.  No matter how many glasses I drank(!), it still tasted bad.  If I were to open the fridge the next morning and find the milk separated, it would be something I would need to deal with.  I wouldn’t freak out and start bemoaning the fact that sour milk had found its way into my sacred cold space.  I wouldn’t call in an image management specialist or spin doctor to make sure that I handled the awkward moment without losing face.  I’d just pour out the bad stuff and set aside the container.

As I have grown in my relationship with the Lord, one of the results of that is the ability to be painfully aware of what I am capable of… but also gloriously free to see it for what it is – flesh – and set it aside without wallowing in it or groveling over it.

In a similar way, Peter says that when the undesirable dregs of your flesh emerge after being squeezed, look at them, call them for what they are, and put them away.

Your Squeeze Plays

More on this in the next post.  But for now, what constitutes a squeeze play for you?  Hostility from the world?  Temptation from the tempter?  The painful actions of others?  Time or money stress?  Traffic?

More importantly, when you do get squeezed, what comes flying out?  Love?  Joy?  Peace?  Patience?  Kindness? Faithfulness?  Gentleness?  Goodness?  Self-control?

Or something else?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

karen sherman October 4, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Great Andy, Heard Dr. Dobson one day say ” What’s in the well, comes up in the bucket”. How true! Sometimes I don’t like my well very much ya know.

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