Excellence Over Mediocrity IV | Our Caffeine Addiction

“I love the smell of socially acceptable chemical dependence in the morning.” | Pinterest | The Goldmine of Quotations |

I started drinking coffee somewhere around the beginning of my college career. Even then, I didn’t drink it as frequently as I do now. Now, I have one cup a day, or two, if I’m at a social event or someone’s house where coffee is served. I really don’t remember how I first got into coffee but somewhere along the line, I decided to give it a go. The smell really is something else. One of my sisters doesn’t like coffee at all but she loves the smell and I totally understand why. The taste of coffee is a let-down compared to its smell, at least for me πŸ™ˆ But once I put some milk and sugar in there, it’s a nice cozy drink that gives me all the warm fuzzy feelings.

So I love coffee, I really do, and I’m trying to gain more knowledge about it and about healthy coffee in particular. I’m a sucker for all things hygge-related and coffee is very much hygge. It engenders feelings of togetherness and I think that’s why it forms such a large part of our social gatherings and events.

But, lovely humans, as if you didn’t already know haha, caffeine is a drug, and we, as Christians need to re-think our addiction to it.

I recently edited an un-published article about the Christian’s heavy reliance upon coffee and that immediately caught my attention. Sadly, I can’t link to it here since it remains unpublished but the author made some really stellar points so I credit them with the initial inspiration for this post πŸ™‚

I’m just going to say it straight-up. Some of us have made coffee an idol and we don’t even realize it. It’s another example of choosing mediocrity instead of excellence. Coffee is a gift from the Most High since He has given us all things richly to enjoy. Buuuut, as Paul said, “all things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (I Corinthians 6:12). Everything in moderation and the minute we elevate coffee to a necessity in order for us to function, we’ve been brought under its power.

The author of the article mentioned the trendy slogan that’s been plastered all over mugs and T-shirts and decals and all kinds of paraphernalia: All I need is a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus. That is completely false. All you need is Jesus. Period. It might seem that I’m splitting hairs at this point and infusing a light, fun saying with more meaning that it actually has but please stick with me πŸ™‚ Words have meaning (cue another upcoming post in this series on the stewardship of words…) and we all, myself included, use them too lightly sometimes. While that saying is cute and happy, it’s really not true. It implies that Adonai isn’t enough for you, that you need a lot of Him AND you need some coffee too. You don’t NEED coffee and if you do, that’s a problem. I use a hashtag on some of my Instagram posts called #alwayscoffee but I’ve been seriously rethinking it in recent days. It implies that coffee needs to be had…well, always. And it doesn’t.

Lovely humans, if you’re stumbling about through your day, drinking 5 cups of coffee to help you survive reality, something’s dreadfully wrong. The only One you should be clinging to with that kind of a death-grip is your Saviour. As Christians, we shouldn’t be the type of people who say “don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” or “coffee is the only thing keeping me out of jail”, however jokingly. Lovely humans, the power of Christ is the only thing keeping you out of jail. If not for His grace and mercy in saving our souls, we’d be heathens. We can’t be slipping into mediocrity by turning to coffee to do for us what only the King can do. If we’re looking to coffee to get us on our feet in the morning, and to keep us on our feet throughout the day, instead of looking to Christ and His Word, we’ve made it an idol and we’ve become its slaves. It’s one thing to drink coffee because you enjoy it but it’s another thing entirely to drink it from an insatiable sense of need or desire.

Last year, I read a SMASHING book by Elyse Fitzpatrick called Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone and I CANNOT recommend it enough! It shook me to my core and realigned my thinking and emotions in sooo many ways. She’s refreshingly Biblical and backs up all of her points with loads of Scripture and even the Puritans too πŸ™‚ Here are a few quotations from her which really apply well to the topic of caffeine addiction and Christians:

|”Idolatry–love gone wrong–lies at the heart of every besetting sin that we struggle with.” | Italics here are mine and added for emphasis. |

|”What do I long for so much that my heart clamors, ‘Give me this, or else I’ll die!’ What must I have for life to be meaningful or happy? What enables me to lie down at night and know that, at my core, I’m really okay? If I answer that question with anything other God Himself, then that’s what functions as a god for me.” |

| “When you find yourself worried, angry, or fearful,…you can rest knowing that you don’t need to grab an idol off a shelf or find some other way to take care of yourself. God’s mercy and grace is available to you every moment–and His promised help is as certain as His character…He’s more than able to sustain you in your time of need. “|

So we don’t have to turn to coffee to sustain us in our time of need. If we wake up in the morning feeling tired and sluggish, our knee-jerk reaction shouldn’t be “Oh I’m gonna need a lot of coffee today”. It should be to seek our Father in prayer, asking for grace and strength to serve Him despite our weakness. Then head to the Keurig or the Moka Pot or the percolator or Espresso machine to enjoy (not rely on) your coffee. But don’t stumble out of bed, reaching for the caffeine before you’ve sought your Maker and Saviour. We have to strive for excellence regarding our love for coffee too πŸ™‚

It’s a lovely thing, it really is. It’s brought so many people together. At church. At the Wawa. At The Office. At Bible studies. At gatherings. At coffee shops. At college. Strangers have become friends over coffee. Friends have become Kindred Spirits over coffee. And sometimes, Kindred Spirits have blossomed into husband and wife and it was coffee that did it, to a degree haha It’s been a companion to many a writer, reader, and artist; a cozy way to curl up by the fireplace with a loved one or friend; and a creative way to stay cool in the Summer months. And, of course, it’s now a way to get trendy inspirational pictures for Instagram πŸ™ˆ

So cheers to coffee and keep drinking it, if it’s something you love, since the Creator has given us all things richly to enjoy. But may we stop treating it as our saviour and return it to its rightful place: off the throne of our hearts and underneath our love for Adonai.

blog coffee 8

| We’re in a War, my friends, and we all need Courage on the Front Lines ❀ |




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