Eating Pocket Lint

Pocket lint tastes awful.

The incident started out innocently enough. I bought some jellybeans after Easter. They were hard to pass up at half price, even though as a dental hygienist, I seldom eat candy. (Note: chocolate isn’t candy; it’s a food group.) Sitting 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 kid again, trying to hide my favorite candy from my sisters. I scooped up the handful of jellybeans and slid them into my pocket. I moved so fast they didn’t even have time to stick to my sweaty palms. I gazed innocently into my blank computer screen as my daughter passed through on her way outside.

When the coast was clear, 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!* I spit those jellybeans out so fast the color was still on them. And so was the lint.

Shamed, I was instantly convicted of my selfishness and embarrassed by my actions. Jellybean selfishness is a relatively minor misdemeanor, but I knew it was a symptom of my heart’s attitude.

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

Proverbs 11:25 reads: A generous man will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

I know this is true. On good days, when I share with an abundant hand, I receive more pleasure than 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 smiles 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. These blessings don’t come 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. Abundantly.

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

Your Turn

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What unpleasant thing have you eaten lately?


by Lori Hatcher

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Lori is an author, blogger, and women’s ministry speaker. She shares an empty nest in Columbia, South Carolina, with her ministry and marriage partner, David, and best dog ever, Winston. She’s the editor of Reach Out, Columbia magazine, and has authored two devotional books. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time . Connect with her on Facebook (Hungry for God), Twitter (@lorihatcher2) or by email (

About Be the Light Editor

Martin Wiles is a minister, author, freelance editor, and English teacher who lives in Greenwood, SC. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and is the author of Grits & Grace and God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. He serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions ( and Assistant Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three.