I’ve never thought of myself as a gourmet chef, but when I need to I can prepare a decent meal. I also know that if you add too much of one ingredient and not enough of another, a recipe can be ruined.
When Peter wrote his second letter, his advice was to never add-a-vice to your life. Instead he advised people to add the right ingredients to their faith. He said a compliment of “good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love” is a good recipe for life (I Peter 2:5-11).
I encourage you to devise a plan that can de-vice you of your vices, and I advise you to add-a-vise of strength to your faith. When you add a cup of good character, and stir in some spiritual understanding, you might begin to smell the aroma of “passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love,” your life will have a sweet aroma that’s pleasing to God.
This is the time of year that fresh produce is being grown in the gardens around town. When the tomatoes ripen and the squash and zucchini are harvested, new recipes are tried as backyard chefs’ fire up their grills. The key ingredient to the success of these culinary endeavors is that special spice you add to the entrée as it simmers on the grill.
Is there a favorite spice you use when you cook? Spices influence and change the flavor of food. If you were the spice of life, how would your influence be experienced?
- Would it be felt as true compassion or random passion?
- Would you be experienced as a warming fire or dangerous and easily provoked ire?
- Would your presence be recognized as sweet encouragement or bitter discouragement?
The difference between a good meal and a bad meal can be the difference between the right spice and a bad substitute. If the recipe calls for sugar, you can’t expect to get good results if you substitute cayenne pepper.
The same is true will a spiritual counterfeit and a genuine servant of God. The influence of one is positive and the influence of the other is negative.
Jesus said that you should “Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned (Matthew 7: The Message).”
As the spice of life, are you genuine or a counterfeit?
Just how good is God? The Psalmist wrote: “Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him (34:8)!”
You answer the question of God’s goodness every time you take a sip of your favorite drink or a bite of your favorite food. God designed you with a need to eat, but He also blessed you with taste buds.
Without the thousands of taste buds on your tongue, eating would be boring and mundane. In His wisdom and goodness, God gifted you with the ability to distinguish between food that is sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Without taste buds, food would just be yuck that you have to eat to live.
Richard Strauss has said: “Because God is Himself the highest and greatest good, He is also the source and fountain of all other good. He does good things. He extends His goodness to others. It is His nature to be kind, generous, and benevolent, to demonstrate good will toward men, and to take great pleasure in making them happy. Because God is good, He wants us to have what we need for our happiness and He sees that it is available to us. Every good thing we now enjoy or ever hope to enjoy flows from Him, and no good thing has ever existed or ever will exist that does not come from His good hand.”
I hope you pause today to find the goodness of God in the small things of your life, and here’s a kid’s song to get you started: God is so good.