Daily Devotional LifeJourney Church (MCC)

Sweet or Bitter?

March 23, 2012 • Category: Proverbs

Today’s scripture: Proverbs 9:1-6, 13-18 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Steve Adams):

When you were a child, did you ever go through the dinnertime ordeal of staring at a food that was absolutely repulsive to you while your parents encouraged you to eat it? Back when I was in grade school it happened to me. The dreaded food? Lima Beans. After I finally ate one bite and said I couldn’t stand them, my parents said something that put everything in perspective: “There are some foods you just have to learn to like.” This resonated with my second-grade mind since I liked school and enjoyed learning new things. For a split second I had a mind picture of being an adult and possibly — through some sort of miracle — evolving to the point I actually liked vegetables! And, it ended up happening just as my parents hinted it could. Lima beans are now one of my favorite foods.

Similar to changes in our food preferences, I think God often counts on our spiritual tastes to change as we grow and mature. When we first get to know and love God, wisdom may not be very appealing to us. In fact, it might seem downright boring, while foolishness seems much more exciting.

One night when I was in high school I was riding around with friends when we got the crazy idea of moving a huge Road Closed sign into our friend’s driveway, so when they got home from their date they’d be in for a big surprise. I thought it would be funny, so I helped do it. The support structure and sign would barely sit on top of the car, but we had the sufficient youthful energy and mischievousness to execute the task. I didn’t give a second thought to the trouble it would cause our friend and their parents to get the sign back to its proper place. As I remember this prank now, it gives me a very bitter taste in my spirit. When I woke up the next morning, it didn’t even occur to me to apologize and try to help put the sign back where it belonged. Fortunately, some of my more mature friends did just that.

After that, I got to know God, and my tastes changed! Many things that formerly tasted sweet to my soul became bitter, and many bitter things became sweet. For example, a few years ago I bought a used car from an individual. When the time came for the seller to transfer the title to me, he told me to go ahead and write a lesser price than the actual purchase price if I wanted to. That way I would pay less in sales tax when I bought the license plates for the car. But the thought of doing that was immediately bitter to my soul, because, by that time, I had been a Christian for years, and my tastes had changed, so I declined.

Romans 12:9 has a classic attitude directive that’s pure refreshment to the soul. Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good. When those words grow in our minds, our moral tastes definitely change for the better! We are transformed!

Thought for the day: Proverbs 9 says both wisdom and foolishness are calling to us. God, I ask for discernment so I can choose the wise path.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.

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