Remember…

I’ve discovered something rather disturbing about myself:  I’m a salad dressing whiny-baby. It’s not like I’m even all that into salad. I think we all know I’d rather have chocolate. Or coffee. Or chocolate mixed with coffee. But the other day I found myself with a salad that needed something that neither coffee nor chocolate could fix (though it took me several minutes to come to grips with that). So there I sat trying all the salad dressings. All of them. I even mixed a few—like some sort of mad scientist. The first dressing was too tart. The next one, too sweet. Then the next one was just too…orange. That’s when I figured out that I was not so much a mad scientist. No. I was Goldilocks. When did I become so dressing-spoiled? It doesn’t even comfort me all that much that I’m not the only one. God’s chosen people had wandered in the desert for 40 years because they had chosen not to trust the Lord. When they finally stood poised to enter the land of promise, instead of the “now you can all relax” message they might’ve expected, they got more of a “don’t get too spoiled” warning. “Be careful that you don’t forget the Lord your God by failing to keep His command…When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God…” (Deuteronomy 8:11-14, HCSB). In the verses just prior to these, the people are reminded to be diligent in their obedience to God because “the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land…a land of wheat, barley,

Scratching Where It Itches

I confess I don’t have the greenest thumb on the block. As a matter of fact, I was thinking it might be easier to just give up on all other greenery and grow a poison ivy garden instead. Except that at this point I’d have to start from scratch. Scratch? Get it? Anyway, I decided it would probably be better not do anything that “rash.” That’s because we really do have to be careful what we plant. We will reap what we sow. It’s right there in Galatians 6:7. And according to the verse that follows, not only should we be careful what we plant, but we’re told if we choose to live only to please our own sinful selves, we’ll reap a harvest of death and decay. I think I’ve grown that kind of plant before. But when we’re talking about what we’re growing spiritually, we’re talking about an especially ugly garden. Eternally worse than poison ivy. Don’t even bother with the weed-whacker. Round-Up won’t cut it either. Take a look at the passage:  “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:7-10 NIV). I love how Paul rounds out his point in verse 9 with an understood “so” when he charges us to “not become weary in doing good.” He lets us know that the