31 Days :: Day 18 – Smashing the Soapboxes

This Morning:

  • Spend some time in prayer this morning, specifically asking God to continue breaking down whatever thought patterns He revealed to you yesterday.
  • Journal about your thoughts from yesterday and overnight. How are you doing now as compared to day 1?
Devotion: Smashing the Soapboxes

You’ve got a soapbox, right? Or two… or three. You know those little topics that, when they come up in conversation, you must share your opinion…. and continue sharing it. You probably know your close friends’ soapboxes as well… and avoid bringing them up like you avoid that lotion salesman in the middle of the mall.

I never really knew where the phrase “soapbox” came from until tonight. According to Wikipedia, the word actually comes from the days when speakers would elevate themselves by standing on wooden crates that were used to ship soap or other dry goods… and share their opinions. Hmm. One phrase grabbed me. “Elevate themselves.”

When we jump up on our boxes, we are in effect elevating ourselves. We are saying, “Listen to my opinion. It’s right.” We can become preachy and angry in how we talk about things. We hold these opinions so closely to ourselves that we are blinded to see the truth from every angle. This blog could be considered a soapbox. (Although my prayer is that Grow Where You’re Planted is always God’s soapbox.)

When we have these strong opinions about things… even good things, they are coming from somewhere deep inside. A lot of times, our soapboxes come from pent-up anger and bitterness. Sometimes we have had a bad experience that we can’t seem to let go of. Those experiences build up in our minds, poisoning our thoughts, and we begin to launch into an attack every time the subject comes up.

In the past year, I’ve dealt with some bitterness. Every time the subject(s) came up, so did my defensive self. And my bitter self. And my angry self. And my ungrateful self. And my jealous self. And my entitled self. And my HURT self. And my… me-ism.

Thankfully, God has grown me to the point that I’ve let most of it go. The temptation to “go there” still comes up in my thoughts sometimes, but it’s nowhere near as strong as it used to be.

What do you see inside of you that may be causing your own soapboxes? Do you have bitterness or anger deep down that you need to let go of? Maybe a jealousy that you have failed to admit you harbor. An unforgiveness that you keep holding onto. We’ve got to let go of the anger that tempts us to sin. The bitterness and unforgiveness that digs in deep and forces our thoughts to go where we don’t want them to go. The words that are spoken because of what we are allowing our minds to dwell on.

Here is what the Bible has to say about what’s underneath our soapboxes:

Anger & bitterness?

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. – Ephesians 4:26-32


Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. – Matthew 18:21-22 


But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. – James 3:14-18

So what do you think? Have your soapboxes come to mind? Are you ready to commit with me to recognize them when they rise up inside? To fight them off with God’s word? Don’t you want to smash them to pieces… so that we can elevate ourselves no longer?

To Make You Think:

  1. What are your specific soapboxes? Where do they come from?
  2. Is there an unforgiveness in your life that you need to deal with?
  3. Are you still angry and bitter about an experience in your life? Are you ready to let go? Is there a brother {or sister} with whom you need to reconcile?
The Rest of the Day:
  • Ask God to continue revealing your soapboxes to you. And ask Him to smash them.
  • Journal about what God shows you. Write down your answers to the above questions and then write about your thoughts and feelings today.
See you tomorrow!

Continuing on…  31 Days :: Day 19 – That Familiar Strip of Road


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