I’ve never tasted them but I’ve heard that the thickener used to make liquids thicker have no taste. Despite that, most of the people who I come in contact with that are forced to drink thickened liquids have a different opinion. I think part of it has to do with the texture. There’s nothing refreshing about yogurt or pudding, despite its yummy taste. Eating even the most liquid of potato soups does not quench thirst. These thickened textures, despite tasting great are nothing like a nice cold drink of water, soda, tea, lemonade, or juice on a hot day or after exercising. Cold, thin, refreshing liquid those are the things people take a drink of to quench their thirst.
I have no idea what made me think of this as I was driving home from work. Yet, I immediately thought, “we do the same thing with the Gospel.” We add things to it and act like it should still have the impact on our soul that it would if we just applied the Word as written. We want to add our justification on the parts that we struggle with, and still expect the refreshing blessing of God to fall.
We put qualifiers on the scriptures, especially the New Testament ones that call us to a higher level. We are okay with “Thou shalt not commit murder.” Exodus 20:13 Easy Old Testament Law. But Jesus took it to another level, But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause[b] shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Matthew 5:22
Maybe I am the only one that reads that scripture and says “But God you don’t know what they did….” I justify and want to add wanting to show I have cause. And I don’t take a second thought about adding my own names to others because their behavior is less than what I expect. I want to add a little to that scripture, because really I am not killing someone. What upsets me, is usually nothing compared to what truly upsets God.
I looked up hate in the Bible and there are a few things that come up:
- Psalm 5:5 workers of iniquity.
- Deuteronomy 16:22 sacred pillars
- Psalm 11:5 one who loves violence
- Proverbs 6:16-19
- A proud look,
- A lying tongue,
- Hands that shed innocent blood,
- A heart that devises wicked plans,
- Feet that are swift in running to evil,
- A false witness who speaks lies,
- And one who sows discord among brethren.
- Isaiah 61:8 robbery for burnt offering
- Zechariah 8:17 Thinking evil in your heart against your neighbor; a false oath
- Malachi 2:16 Divorce
I admit I didn’t need to search scriptures to know that I have certainly caused God anger with my behaviors and done things that He hates. I didn’t need a search because I am a sinner saved by grace. But I look at this list and know I have been a worker of iniquity, I have set up pillars in my life I placed before God at times, I have been prideful, I have lied, I have run into evil knowing better, I have sown discord, I have thought evil of others, I have divorced. My heart is sad to know that most of those things occurred even after I accepted Christ as my Savior.
Ad yet, God in His mercy and grace has forgiven me. I do not have to walk in condemnation. What it shows me is that regardless of my justifications, I am called to walk with the same grace and mercy towards others that Christ did. He is my example. The world may let me justify my pride, my lies, my divorce – adding to the Word; God calls me to a higher level of sanctification. Yes, I will still fail at times, but when He shows it to me, I will repent and seek to give mercy and grace. If I want to live with a thickened Gospel, I can not be upset with God when I don’t walk in all that He has for me. If I am willing to let Him take all my justifications and replace them with His mercy and grace for myself and others, He will refresh my soul and let me walk in the fullness of all that He has for me in Him.