Collard Greens and Jesus

As most parents do, mine encouraged me to try new foods. “You won’t know if you like it if you never try it!”

Some things you just know you’re not going to like. Some things you dislike, but you grow into them. I never grew into liver.

I remember one evening while in Junior High School our family went to visit some friends of my parents. For dinner, they served Spaghetti…with mushrooms. I hated mushrooms. They were completely disgusting to me. I was informed by my father in no uncertain terms that I would eat every one that found its way onto my plate. To this day I’m not sure how I managed to choke them down. I like mushrooms just fine now.

I would have been mortified if I had to try Brussels sprouts or spinach. While neither are a favorite, I can eat them both with no drama whatsoever.

Many years and many miles later I found myself on a business trip in the Deep South. I had matured and, from time to time, I enjoyed trying new things. One evening I made my way to a barbecue place, excited to stuff myself with some Memphis-style ribs. While perusing the menu, my eyes came across collard greens. My gut reaction at seeing the name was that I wouldn’t like them. I read the description anyway; finding that these greens are cooked with pork, my mouth began to water. So I ordered some.

Oh, the heavenly flavor! I had been missing out.

So, where does Jesus fit in this story? I’m glad you asked!

So many people have found that Christians leave them with a bad taste in their mouths (pun fully intended!). Unfortunately, like liver for me, that bad taste just won’t go away. Even the memory of those experiences brings painful expressions to their faces.

Like the wisdom of our parents—they got it from God in the first place!—we need to convince people to give Jesus a chance. Psalm 34:8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!”

There it is!

Jesus’ reputation has been unfairly besmirched by the poor behavior of, probably, well-meaning Christians. But we need to get them to push that plate of liver aside and take a taste of those delicious collard greens. We need to make it obvious that the behavior of some “saints” doesn’t change the goodness of God.

Of course, getting them to look past us doesn’t negate our responsibility to grow in Christlikeness. <wink>

While this post is a bit different from my usual, shall I say…flavor, these are still the musings of a mindful disciple. Blessings on your week!

Image from Southern Bite

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