“Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 RSV
As a personal chef to my family (clears throat), I have found myself overtime experimenting with various dishes and cuisines. It is never my desire to have unhappy faces after a meal is prepared BUT occasionally, I have encountered this in my home.
I recall one time in particular I was creating a salad with cucumbers. To my delight, my dad brought home three (3) large ones. With an invigorated appetite, I washed and sliced these cucumbers in equal sizes and added them to the other ingredients of my salad.
As I took the first bite of the combined ingredients, my palate let out a ghastly scream. Something in my salad was bitter.
I sorted through the different ingredients and discovered the culprit – those deceptive cucumbers. As I sifted through the entire salad, I found that all three were bitter. To say I was sorely disappointed would have been an understatement.
I asked my dad what would cause cucumbers to be bitter and his response was, “they’re old.”
Last week, I went to the farmer’s market and picked up a huge bundle of Bok choy. I saw myself cutting them up and steaming them in my wok as a nice side dish for a Father’s Day breakfast. They would be served with fried dumplings and plantains. Mhm mhm good. ￼￼￼￼￼😋
I steamed the Bok choy and took a taste of what looked like yummy goodness.
“Daddddddyyy!! Why is the Bok choy bitter?” I yelled from the kitchen.
His response, “it’s probably old.”
Argh! Another vegetable that is old…and bitter.
As I sat with these two scenarios Holy Spirit began speaking to my heart.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18 (ESV)
He showed me examples of two Christian elderly women that I am very familiar with. Both women are in their late seventies and have professed to have been walking with Christ for almost all their life yet they are so different – as night and day.
Lady A is gracious and graceful. She tends to veer on the side of optimism, listens well, loves the Word, is extremely generous with her time and talents and keeps no records of wrongs. Her posture generally leans to trusting in the Lord’s timing and Sovereignty. Lady B on the contrary is graceful sadly, mostly in her dressing. She is able to recall a wrong done to her from youth, is extremely pessimistic, is selfish with her resources (and questions others who do so), blames the devil for everything, lacks joy, and overall, has an attitude that is riddled with bitterness. Lady B does have an extensive knowledge of the Word and its history, can be found praying out loud several times a day and is always willing to remind others that there is a heaven or a hell.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.” James 1:22-24 RSV
As I pondered these two women, Holy Spirit convicted me – big time.
Though I am not an elderly woman, per se, I am an older person of the faith having been introduced to Jesus at a young age. I have been in His school almost all my life and am able to share life experiences and lessons with many much younger (and even older than I am).
As I have been getting older (both age wise and in the faith), what or better yet, Who am I reflecting? Am I mostly like Lady B or am I striving to be like Jesus.
Like the meals I prepare for my family, I want those who partake of my offerings to find them enjoyable. No, I will not be always happy but they should see joy. Sure, I will be frustrated at times but will I be known as the grouch, or as one who zaps energy from everyone she comes in contact with.
“But those who set their gaze deeply into the perfecting law of liberty are fascinated by and respond to the truth they hear and are strengthened by it—they experience God’s blessing in all that they do!” James 1:25 TPT
Pray with me: Lord, today I want my life to be more seasoned with Your grace. I want to be palatable to those I come in contact with on a daily basis. As I grow in the knowledge of my Lord, I want my actions to reflect that He lives on the inside of me. I want to fulfill the command of my Master to be like the salt of the earth that does not lose its saltiness. Help me to not just be a hearer of the Word, but a doer also. May I be like Jesus, in all I do. Amen.