Sanctity of Life and My Coffee Cup

For the past several years, Sanctity of Life Sunday has typically meant a sermon about the value of human life, a few mailers from our local pro-life organization and a Monday morning news article depicting local pro-life advocates gathering at a rally. I have prayed for God to renew the heart of our country, and I have grieved with women who have borne the heartache of the aftermath of an abortion. For me, my every response to government stems from my understanding of life according to the Word and God’s creation of it.

As one born in 1973, the year of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, I have always felt a burden to make my life count for the kingdom of God, especially in regards to the destructive lies the enemy feeds women about freedom. Growing up, my parents—specifically, my mom—taught me that conviction and action are inseparable. For a long time, I’ve been asking God what more I could do to make my life resound with my belief that life is a gift from God and as such, every life matters from the moment of conception.

My time being fully committed elsewhere in ministry, I did not feel that the answer was to put another thing on my schedule. Likewise, my husband and I had already put our giving in the areas we felt directed by the Lord. So, I began to ask the Lord to show me what more I could do.

I didn’t expect the answer to come in my coffee cup.

Somewhere in my senior year in college, coffee became a dietary staple. Whether it was the idea of seeming more adult, a tribute to my father (an avid coffee drinker) or the need for caffeine, coffee has since made its way into my daily routine. Even though I have even given up the caffeinated part, the coffee still remains. While my choice of creamers and flavors have fluctuated over the years, my favorite remains an extra hot decaf mocha made with skim milk (and on certain occasions, a peppermint mocha).

So you can only imagine how much I rejoiced when not one but multiple Starbucks came to town. Anyone who enjoys a good cup of coffee knows not all coffee shops are the same.

At various points since discovering the warmth and atmosphere of a neighborhood Starbucks, I felt the Lord leading me to step away from my mochas in a place of remembering that He is my comfort and my reward. Although I would sometimes question if four bucks was too much for a cup of coffee, one sip would have me reminding myself that this one indulgence was doable since I am not a big spender in other areas. A few weeks ago, however, the Lord took me in a direction I little expected to go. As I was driving to work with my very hot, very good peppermint mocha in hand, I heard Him speak something into my spirit that answered my question of how much Starbucks is too much.

Over the years, I had heard the debate about the quotes on the cups, and I had heard the questions about benefits for domestic partnerships. But I had never contemplated Starbucks position on life. When I arrived at my desk that morning I ran a quick search and what I encountered left me with a decision about conviction and action (

It was as if the Lord was saying, “Remember when you asked me what more you could do?”

So, for me, I won’t be toting a Starbucks cup anymore—at least not until they no longer partner with death. The apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 8 and 10 that our righteousness is not found in what we eat or don’t eat, nor do we find favor with God by creating a list of rules. Neither should I be watching other people’s coffee cups to determine if they are holy or not. For me, it’s not about legalism but a call to obedience from the Lord as to where I spend my money. I asked Him, “What more can I do?” and He answered. I can’t argue with that.

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor . . . Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.                    
                                --1 Corinthians 10:23-24, 31 (NASB).


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