I heard a talk by Beth Moore recently where she focused on the vineyard theme in the Bible. One of the many nuggets of truth I got that day was this – thick skinned grapes make the best wine. I am not a wine connoisseur but I do like a nice glass of white wine – not too dry and a bit sweet. Beth talked about the various stages of grapes – grapes to be eaten (thin skinned), raisins (dried grapes) then wine. Wine takes the most time to develop. Grapes that become wine are invested in and allowed to become something that is wonderful to taste over time. We, as God’s creation, become even more wonderful in time, if we let God invest in us. Taking this grape analogy a bit further, we are the grapes that become wine. The fruit we produce (our love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control – Galatians 5) is more powerful and effective in time. It’s also more effective if we develop a tough skin.
“The thicker the skin, usually the richer the color. The darkest, richest and fullest red wines are made from deeply pigmented, thick skinned grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petite Sirah.” – Wine 101: color & taste sensations by Randy Caparoso, July 26, 2011 https://www.lodiwine.com/blog/wine-101-color-taste-sensations
What does this mean? If we don’t sweat the small stuff and forgive others’ offenses, we can produce some fabulous wine. We can provide those in our sphere of influence a rich taste of who God is.
A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. ~ Proverbs 19:11 NIV OR
Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget. ~ Proverbs 19:11 MSG
So a thick skinned believer is one who doesn’t sweat the small stuff. We let it go. We don’t have to rehash everything and every offense. Don’t be a doormat. I am not saying that and neither is scripture. It’s asking us to extend grace. If we stay in relationship with others and invest in those relationships, we are fine wine. We are providing others with a glimpse of God’s grace, His glory, and His character through our lives.
I’m not thick skinned always. When I’m tired – thin skinned. When I’m pms-y – thin skinned. When I’m not spending time with God daily – thin skinned. When I’m hurt by a friend – thin skinned with all friends. Thick skin doesn’t mean we aren’t ever in a weaker state of thin skinned. However, when we see we aren’t thick skinned, let’s start investigating why. Why am I more sensitive to this issue today? What is missing in my life? Have I been eating well, sleeping well, taking care of my soul well, etc.?
Let’s build up our skin to be thick because we are grounded in God’s love and all that He provides. Let’s produce some beautiful wine because we are pouring out on others what we allowed God to pour into us. Let’s take time to do self evaluation and self care when we find ourselves being thin skinned.
Dream Big! Pray Big!