Ok… I admit it, I haven’t really watched Sponge Bob properly although I am aware of some of the characters – Sponge Bob and Patrick and the big crab (oh wait was it an octopus or…. ??) whatever it is that serves food. Hmmm now that I have made my ignorance public, let me proceed on to what I’m trying to say! Never have I paused to understand why Bob is a sponge in this cartoon. Well not until now that is… Why suddenly now you may ask!
Simply because I was writing another blog post and suddenly the image of a sponge (not the cake but the cleaning sponge) came to my mind. I feel God is saying that we need to be like that sponge. (That is what made me think of Sponge Bob… Blush, Chuckle!) When we are cleaning something, we squeeze the sponge to release the cleaning liquid. Finally when washed with clean water, both the sponge and the vessel become sparkling clean! We obviously only apply the sponge on an unclean vessel – one that is dirtied or soiled.
As believers, we absorb God’s love just like the sponge soaks in the cleaning liquid. Life’s pressures such as trials, difficulties, etc… squeezes us but yet God’s love seeps out releasing our infirmities while helping to do the same in the lives of those around us at that time. Finally the blood of Christ washes all of us clean in each situation.
We are called to be mutually edifying…. All of us are equal and important parts of the Body, EVERY one of us. The Bible tells us to gently restore those who are caught in sin (Galatians 6:1). However, we are not the cleaning agent – God’s love is! We need to remember that we are merely the vessels applying God’s love to facilitate healing from sin in other peoples’ lives. We are definitely NOT the healers. Ultimately it is only the blood of Jesus that washes people as white as snow. As believers equipped with the Holy Spirit, we may be able to realise the sin of another. However the verse is specific that is for those who are CAUGHT in sin, NOT PERCEIVED to be in sin.
When we ‘perceive’ we can be very likely judging as we don’t know the details. Only God can see through the appearances, only God can see each one’s hearts… the turmoil, the regret, the tug of war between flesh and spirit, the hurts and inflictions that causes certain behaviours or that has conditioned the heart… Only God can see everything! We can’t even understand our own hearts. David knew this all too well and cried out to God to search his heart. God loved him nonetheless despite David’s sins.
One thing caught my attention recently and I marvelled at it. God told David, “When he (David’s son Solomon) does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you” (1 Samuel 7:14-15). It wasn’t “IF” but rather “WHEN” Solomon does wrong. The floggings were those inflicted by men. On the other hand, I’m reminded of Joseph. His wrongs, if any, were not mentioned but his brothers did many wrongs. Couldn’t God have stopped those wrongs from happening? Obviously He could have. However He didn’t! Why???? He has a purpose and a plan through EVERY thing.
No, that does not give us a license to sin but rather it helps us extend grace to those who do sin including ourselves. Hosea was led to marry an adulterous wife… He obeyed. Obviously she strayed in her marriage but even the naming of the children was led by God and was prophetic. However, God says that He will show love to the one He called not His loved one and He will say to those called not his people, “You are my people” (Hosea 2:23). Hosea’s marriage was used as an example of God’s compassion and mercy to His people.
Where was I??? Oh yes… we are the sponges and NOT the cleaning liquid let alone the water. We experience God’s comfort when we get squeezed by the pressures of life. “(God) … comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Back to Sponge Bob… well, rather think of Sponge You… (Insert your name replacing Bob!!)
- What is the state of the sponge right now?
- Is it fully saturated with God’s love or is it saturated with other things?
- Is Sponge You being applied correctly? What are the next steps if not correct?
- What seeps out when Sponge You is squeezed?
- Is there anything you should be doing to aim for God’s love to be evident despite pressures of life?