Monday, October 29, 2012

SEASONING


Recipes.  The bane of my existence.  I have never tried to use a recipe but that I found I had few or none of the ingredients.  I gave up.  To this day, I prefer to follow the directions on the box or make up my own combinations.  My cousin (a replica of Julia Childs), who loves cooking and uses all the best ingredients in her recipes, just shakes her head in disbelief that I could be so backward about using seasoning, and gathering things for a recipe. Gourmet, I am not. (But I sure know how to eat what she cooks!)  So just be glad that I am not here to share recipes. 

But recipes are not the only place where seasoning matters.  Life needs quite a bit of that, too.  One of the quick ways to season life is to spice it up with peppery words.  Another is to party, party, party.  And then there are the multiple options for entertainment:  from TV watching or dinner and a movie to blowing one’s mind with drugs and debauchery;  from elegant Symphonies to Gangsta Rap concerts or Raves and riots; from time with family to time as far away from family as possible, even by working too much.  We have a lot of choices.

Recently I have observed a life that is constantly falling apart and found it necessary to reply to a call for help by saying that what I was seeing in her life was SEASONING.  I see her as trying to live life the way she has always lived it, surrounded by people who encourage a life style of careless behavior and offensive language while trying to bring God into it as more sprinkles of SEASONING.  That may seem harsh to many of you, but as her former sponsor and an always available accountability partner, it had to be said.  This struggle has gone on for years with dramatic ups and downs, all related to the fact that surrender and humbleness has never been her selected option when things get rough.

Since that time, I have mentioned this idea a few times to different groups and it seems to make sense to them that when we follow God, we cannot just go on living life as we always have while adding a little God here and a little God there for SEASONING.  And this idea seems to fit in well with both of the Bible studies I am doing this fall:  A Woman’s Heart (Beth Moore) and 1 Peter (Wiersbe Bible Study Series.)  One emphasizes God’s desire to live His life in us and through us and ALWAYS WITH us, while the other emphasizes the living, breathing Hope for life with God for eternity.  BOTH require a mind/heart involvement with God on a daily, hourly, minute by minute basis.  And, for sure, neither supports the easier method of mixing God into the life that we are already living and going on as usual.

Vote for change.  We must change if we will be more like Christ.  Change is not easy.  But change we must.  “Put off the old… Put on the new.”  These are not clich├ęs.  These are orders from on High.  These are our marching orders from God.  His expectations are HIGH and He does expect us to change and change and change as we continually grow closer to Him.  If our lives have not changed and or are not changing over time, we are doing something wrong, very wrong.  We must eat and drink from His Word and apply the truths there to our personal lives and then concentrate on following those applications throughout the day. (One day at a time, one hour at a time, every minute of every day.)

One of the high scoring examples on my list (because I have been through this twice) is language.  We cannot continue to use peppery language right along with everyone else.  It may be taking God’s name in vain or it may be using “bleep” words that are all too readily used all around us.  Praising God and spewing such words is not acceptable at all.  One or the other, not both. 

Another, because I observe it on facebook a lot, is posting morally offensive material.  If the “F” word shows up somewhere in the name of the sight or in the words posted, it is not something a Christian should post.  It not only shows our God in a bad light, it encourages use of “peppery” language by others. 

But the biggest thing I believe needs to change in our lives when we desire to become more Christ-like is who we hang out with.  And sometimes that even means family.  Psalm 1 is very clear that we have to move along.  No more “hanging out” with the people who keep us down, but instead hanging out with God’s Word and God’s people who will help us up.  Sometimes this means even limiting the amount of time spent with some or all members of our own family.  But for sure it means getting away from those “friends” whose advice and counsel will continually drag us down into disobedience and failure.  At least one of my friends had to move out of town to get away from these “friends.”

May we all keep a sharp eye out for the path of destruction so that we may avoid it at all cost.  May we feast on the Word of Life and know that it is the main meal, not just the seasoning. May we seek counsel in the Word and from women who have lived life with Christ for several years and have wisdom to share.  And May we be filled with Joy as we do.