Tea Time?

 tea time

My senior year in high school I won the lead in the school play, Arsenic and Old Lace.  The plot of this black comedy focused on a family riddled by insanity.  But, at first you don’t realize it.  Everything appears idyllic and innocent.  Then, as the story unravels, the audience discovers that the two sweet little old ladies who like to serve elderberry tea are actually poisoning their guests with a brew laced with arsenic and just a pinch of cyanide.  In a climactic scene in Act 2, the murderous sisters describe their behavior as an act of charity to help lonely, poor, old men find peace.  In this upside-down world, two women outwardly portrayed moral politeness by offering a warm brew in a pretty china cup.  To them, the wicked potion was a gift.

How absurd!  My teenage sensibilities did not understand the deeper meaning at the time.  But looking back now, I see so much more of myself in this crazy story.  I often feign politeness when I am trying to verbally push my moral agenda on others.   I want to help others, the poor person who in my opinion seems so unhappy and alone.   I know I am right.  If only they would see it my way.  I politely offer them my poisoned tea to drink.

I need to choose the flavor of my words  more carefully.  Sometimes, I brew my tea in the flesh and not the Spirit.  This morning, I was reading in Proverbs and ran across this verse:

Words kill, words give life;
they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

Proverbs 18:21, MSG

Q4U:  Have you been every offered a “poisoned cup of verbal tea”?  How do we avoid infecting our verbal brew?

My one-word focus for the year is “fruitilicious.”  Find out what that means here.

Thanks for stopping by!  I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Joining like-minded sisters today at Faith-Filled Friday, Thought-Provoking Thursday, Tell His Story, Playdates with God, Hear it on Sunday: Use it on Monday, and Soli Deo Gloria.
Photo Credit

18 responses

  1. Thanks for commenting at my site. I’m always interested in coming across the words, and attitudes, of dedicated Christ-followers.

    Sometimes we do indeed get poisoned by the words of others, whether purposefully angry or well-intentioned but missing the mark. Sometimes we do react with bitter words, or at least unspoken thoughts. But I think our own worst poisons may be aimed at ourselves. Oh, how we can look down on ourselves as “not good enough, clever enough, kind enough, put-together enough”. Oh, how we need the Holy Spirit’s help in showing us he loves us no matter what we are, and in fact, it’s not so much who we are, as it is knowing WHO HE IS! Forgiving, all-loving, faithful, the one who delights in us.

  2. So very true, my friend! What a neat analogy you’ve made. I’m going to be conscious this week of brewing my tea (really coffee is my choice :-)) in the SPIRIT! Thanks for sharing your wisdom. Give yourself a hug! Love, Michelle

  3. that is one of my favorite old movies! carey grant
    and the sisters were priceless. i must confess
    i never thought of the underlying menace, as the
    old ladies were so sweet.

    reminds me of a snake offering a piece of fruit!

  4. This is true wisdom, Lyli. I haven’t thought about that old play for a long time (I didn’t know you were an actress!), and certainly not this way. See how you teach? You really have me thinking tonight.

  5. I never knew what that story was all about, but yikes. The analogy you make with it hits home. As a “genteel southern woman”, I’ve seen enough of politely offering poisoned drink with a sweet “Bless your heart.” I want my words to be fruit instead!

    • Oh, yes, Lisa… have you ever read To Kill a Mockingbird? I taught that novel for years, and you just reminded me of Miss Alexandra, Scout’s Aunt who was all outward Southern charm, but inwardly rotten to the core. Bless her heart!

  6. This has been a long-familiar title but I didn’t know the story until now; I can’t imagine this as a high school play. Is it supposed to be a comedy or drama??

    Regardless, your parallel is interesting; how we wear our masks to accomplish our own means. We all think we know “better” at times, don’t we? (ugh!)

    (p.s. I popped over after my last comment to you at Bloom; YOU are a commenting ROCK STAH!!)


  7. This post is sooo convicting! For a very log time in my life I was the victim of terrible verbal abuse, but have come to believe that not one of us is totally innocent of this one!! Found your blog at Jennifer’s. We should truly count our words, think before we speak and listen much more than talking! We have TWO ears, but only ONE mouth.
    Much love XX

    • I agree with you, Mia. I have been the victim of this, but I have also been guilty. God is showing me more and more how my words need to be more measured. So glad you stopped by. I have visited your blog before and love connecting with other bloggers.

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