Monday, March 28, 2022

What is Defining Us?

By: Joanne Viola 

I open my refrigerator door, look inside, and take note:

  • Diet Coke bottle holds….. Diet Coke
  • milk container holds….. skim milk
  • light cream container holds….. light cream
  • Redi Whip can holds….. whipped cream

Taking this all in, I remembered a quote I once read:

“What defines a vessel is whatever the vessel holds.”

(Taken from “Altar’d by Jennifer Kennedy Dean)

We would never open a container of milk and expect to fill a glass with Diet Coke. We grab a container and know exactly what we will be able to pour.

In Genesis 2, we are told:

Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (verse 7, NASB)

 From this verse, we learn that God breathed His very own breath into man and man came to life. We house the very breath of God in our human bodies. We hold the breath of God in our vessels. Our lives contain the Holy Spirit.

If “what defines a vessel is whatever the vessel holds”,
God should be our defining factor. 

The problem really lies within us. What are we storing up? Jesus addresses this very issue when He says:

For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart." (Luke 6:43-45, NASB)

The word “overflow” is meant to give a word picture of leftovers, or a surplus. We will display the leftovers of our heart. Eventually what we are housing inside of our storehouse (our hearts) will make its way out and be visible.

We need to ask ourselves, What is being seen in us each day?

May we be a people defined by the breath of God in us. May we have a heart that is full of His Word so that we have good leftovers to share with others. 


Photo by Daphné Richard on Unsplash 








  1. My prayer is always, "May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O God." If I keep that mantra in mind, it makes it easier to filter what goes in to my vessel.

    1. Amen, which then definitely helps with what comes out.

  2. I love how you started with food in the fridge - and what is in each of the food containers! LOL - my favorite idea vehicle! We've been on a menu plan since January - and there's a lot of fruits, vegetables, salad in our fridge. It's been a challenging transition to fill myself with things better for me - yet, I am learning how to do it - discovering that what appears unsatisfying can be a feast and that there is more to do with these staples than I realized - and I am better for it. It is that way when we fill ourselves with Christ - we don't realize the beautiful possibilities until we try! It is a lifestyle change and it changes us from the inside out! Your post met me in such a salient place today, encouraging me on so many levels (especially since I'd really love some French bread right now!)

  3. Joanne, so simple, yet so profound, indeed if someone "opened" me today what would they find? I pray they would find a heart full of love for Christ and others.


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