Eating Pocket Lint

Pocket lint tastes awful.

My experience began innocently enough. I’d picked up some Starburst jellybeans at the after-Easter sale at Walmart. Because I’m a dental hygienist, I seldom eat candy, (Note: chocolate isn’t candy; it’s a food group) but the Starburst jellybeans were hard to pass up, especially at half-price.

Sitting down at my computer, I had just poured a handful onto the table and tucked the bag away when I heard my daughter’s footsteps.

In an instant, I was a stingy 10-year-old again, trying to hide my favorite candy from my sisters. I scooped up the handful of jellybeans and slid them into my pocket so fast they didn’t even have time to stick to my sweaty palms. I was gazing innocently into my blank computer screen when my daughter passed through on her way outside.

When the coast was clear again, I pulled out the jellybeans and popped a few into my mouth. Proverbs 9:17 flashed through my mind, "Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!"

Then I tasted the pocket lint. *Blech!* Those jelly beans came out of my mouth so fast the color was still on them. And so was the lint.

Shamed, I was instantly convicted of my selfishness and embarrassed to have received such swift correction. Jellybean selfishness is a relatively minor thing, but I knew it was a symptom of my heart attitude.

When I act selfishly, I forget that everything good in my life comes from God (James 1:17). And since God has given generously to me, I should follow his example and give generously to others. When I choose to be generous, Scripture says, I will enjoy blessings that far exceed whatever selfish pleasure I can grab for myself.

Proverbs 11:25 says, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” I know this is true. On good days, when I share with an abundant hand, I receive more pleasure than I would have if I’d kept the blessing for myself. Those with whom I share are usually grateful, and even if they’re not, I know God is smiling at me. His thumbs up is worth more than an Easter basket full of jellybeans.

I’ve also noticed that when I share liberally, blessings seem to circle back around to me. This doesn’t happen when I give with ulterior motives, because I can never manipulate God’s blessings, but when I share from a grateful heart, God always takes care of me.


“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Luke 6:38).

So what’s it going to be? A few jellybeans heavily coated in pocket lint, or God’s gracious plenty, wrapped in a smile?

When have you chosen to refresh someone else and found joy in the doing? I’d love to hear your story. Leave a comment below and join the conversation. If you’re reading by email, click here to comment.

 If you liked this post, you might enjoy "It's my pleasure to serve you."

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  1. I love your analogy here! Many a time I, too, have sneaked into the bathroom or closet to devour some chocolate that I just didn't want my children to have. I didn't want them to eat sweets and yet I would sometimes eat MY sweets in secret! I once fought the dog for an m&m........But I think I will have God's gracious plenty!

    Also wanted to remind you that the "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party is up and ready for you to link up your posts this week.

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  4. Kim Jackson9:27 AM

    Love this post, Lori! Well written, sprinkled with humor, right-on Scriptures and a profound point. Thank you and God bless you BIG!

  5. Sarah Coller5:10 PM

    Love it :) Glad I'm not the only one who hides my snacks from the kids. Oh, but no more, right? :) :) :) Hope you're having a nice week. I've posted the new Homemaking Party for the
    week and would love to have you link up, if you'd like!


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  6. lorihatcher6:29 PM

    I remember one time, when I drew a parallel between the ordinary and the spiritual that my daughter said in disgust, "Does EVERYTHING have to be about GOD????" I looked at her with a smile and said, "Yup, 'in him we live, move, and have our being.'" Thanks for stopping by :)

  7. lorihatcher6:31 PM

    Well, Sarah, sometimes we have to hide certain things from them because they're just not good for them. . . . :) We're just looking out for their best interests, you know, still-developing bodies and brains, you know :) Of course our bodies are still developing too -- in ways we'd rather they not!

  8. Thanks so much for linking up to the "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party today! ;)

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  10. Ugochi Jolomi6:52 AM

    Oops! Sounds like me... But selfishness does no good to us, it creates a hindrance for us while generousity literarily opens doors for us.
    Thanks for sharing Lori, visiting from Teshuva! Do have a super blessed day!

  11. GailBP10:34 AM

    You're a hoot, Lori! Love this...I'm not sure that I so willingly admit my jelly bean stories. : )

  12. Oh I've done that with chocolate chips!! What a good way of illustrating selfishness.

    Thanks for sharing over at WholeHearted Home this week.