I am willing to eat a lot of things, and have even developed a taste for foods that I never cared for before. But… I cannot stand green peas! First and foremost, I hate the way they taste and they make me gag. But there’s more…
Statistics show that people who eat green peas experience sickness at some point in their life and even death. Actually, my research shows that at least 90% of the people who consistently battle ailments such as the common cold, the flu, and even allergies have eaten green peas.
Here’s another frightening fact: 100% of people who ate green peas between the years of 1900 and 1940 have begun to experience mild to serious decline in health and energy in recent years. The most terrifying statistic is that of all the people born in the 1800’s who ate green peas, only two are still living! For these and many other reasons, I will not be consuming green peas, and I urge you to consider joining me.
Right facts… wrong conclusion.
I grew up in the church. I remember watching people like my father and Vernon Wells, my youth pastor. I remember thinking they had it all figured out. They prayed beautiful, eloquent prayers. They preached incredible sermons. They were gentle, kind, and humble. They seemed to always have the right answers, and if there was a problem, they knew how to fix it. These men were (and still are) incredible, godly men that modeled a life surrendered to Jesus.
When I looked at my own life, that type of life seemed unattainable for me. My conclusion? Why bother?!?
Right facts… wrong conclusion!
After several years of living in this false reality, I was “seized by the power of a great affection,” as Brennan Manning called it. For the first time, as I read his book “The Ragamuffin Gospel,” I realized that the facts about my sin, my depravity, and my potential were correct, but that my conclusion about what that meant for me was totally wrong.
What makes authentic disciples is not visions, ecstasies, biblical mastery of chapter and verse, or spectacular success in the ministry, but a capacity for faithfulness. Buffeted by the fickle winds of failure, battered by their own unruly emotions, and bruised by rejection and ridicule, authentic disciples may have stumbled and frequently fallen, endured lapses and relapses, gotten handcuffed to the fleshpots and wandered into a far county. Yet, they kept coming back to Jesus. – Brennan Manning, “The Ragamuffin Gospel”
I came to understand that I had been given new potential by my marriage to Christ. Paul said it is this way in Galatians 2:20, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (NLT)
So the fact is I can’t measure up. I can’t be good enough. I can’t get it right.
The conclusion… Jesus Christ can. Jesus Christ is. Jesus Christ did! Now, because of Christ in us, you and I have that same potential. Embrace His great love and affection for you. Then, allow Him to shape and mold you as only He can do!
And… I guess I’ll have to give green peas another shot!