Monday, February 9, 2015

Comparing Grapefruits and Oranges {Messy Monday and a GIVEAWAY!!!}

I have a thing for oranges. By definition that's not an unhealthy thing. And I can stop anytime I want. And before I go on confessing, don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. I'm talking to you, Orange Hoarder. Come into the light. This is a safe space here.

My orange infatuation has doubtless been passed on to the next generation either by nurture or nature, I don't care which. They love the citrus too.

So you can imagine my shock the other day when I cut into a fresh orange, delighted to share the aroma and sweetness with my own preschool sweet girl. It was an awesome thing, but the girl didn't agree. He cringed, recoiled at the sight of it.

"Blech! I'm not eating that!" She was emphatic and dramatic.

"What? Why not? You haven't even tried it! It's so good!" I insisted, but the girl dug her heels in. The more I coaxed the more she resisted. She wasn't going there.

Then there it was- the light bulb. Weeks beforehand my parents came to visit. My mom bought a bounty of grapefruit and offered it to my kids. They tried eagerly. So trusting. Suckers. They were repulsed.

Now I like grapefruit, but that was not always the case. And even you grapefruit enthusiasts out there must admit that they are an acquired taste. And they're not for everyone.

Apparently my preschooler learned this the hard way, so when she saw the pink fruit of the Cara Cara orange her defenses went up.

Remind anyone of Christianity?

Ever heard this Ghandi quote? "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." (Ouch. Not the promising endorsement you like to hear from a world-renowned humanitarian.)

We are doling (get it, Dole-ing? Ha!) out the sweet promises of Christ and the world recoils at the threat of a tart, even bitter, Christianity.

To be fair, I just ate a sweet sweet grapefruit, but to be sure if you are wanting an orange and getting a grapefruit you are going to feel cheated.

And I'm not going to get into whose "fault" all this is. Sinful humanity- that's who is at fault. Maybe it's the hypocritical Pharisee Christians, maybe its the blind stubbornness in unbelievers. Chances are it is both.

The point is the Gospel is becoming an "eventually" good message, you know what I mean? "Taste and see that the Lord is good" eventually- you'll acquire a taste for Him after you do this. After you give up smoking and drinking. After you stop spending your money on tattoos and lottery tickets. 

But here's the real deal- taste and see that the Lord is good is a right now message. We may need some more mature palates to catch all the subtle nuances and depth of flavor, but He's no grapefruit. The Gospel is sweet and juicy. It might sting the wounds of a life worn raw, but it is nourishment to the soul, blessing the mouths that are open to receive.

Now if you are thinking you haven't done a bang up job of presenting the Gospel, if you are concerned that you are hocking grapefruits instead of oranges, hear this: I'm not saying fake it. I'm not saying stand on the corner and pelt oranges at poor passersby. I'm saying it again- this time to you-

"Taste and see that the Lord is good." 
Psalm 34:8

You may taste the Lord is mighty.
You may see the Lord is merciful.

Those are true, but not the big picture. Those things play into the bigger picture- The Lord is Good.

Once you taste that, the rest starts falling into place. No kiosks and banners needed. Just talking with your neighbor and an invitation to "try this, It is so good."

That's what gets the listener. Genuine testimony to the goodness of God. No bait-and-switch. No eventually. Right now. The gift is mine and yours.

Are you needing a reminder that the Lord is good? Who will you share that message with today?

#JoyDare

56. New pictures in frames
57. After-school hugs
58. The winter sun emerging

GIVEAWAY ALERT!

Need a reminder of the Lord's goodness? How about a book to revolutionize and jump start a life of giving to the "least of these"? Then leave a comment here on the blog, or here on my Facebook page (heck, you can even private message me) and let me know one gift God has given you to reveal to you His goodness. In other words- a little grace you are thankful for. On Valentine's Day one randomly selected name from all who comment will receive their choice of either One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp, OR Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity by Jen Hatmaker. (And if you already own both of those books, but still want to enter then have no fear- we can work something out. This is so fun!)