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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Question (05/24/12)

TITLE: Bad Chook Causes Conference Chaos
By Helen Curtis


About ten years ago I read of the following story in our local newspaper,

As many as 600 food safety experts gathered at an hotel (name withheld) to discuss the food safety industry. Later that night, the entire delegation was struck down . . . with food poisoning.

I could not help but laugh as I conjured up the chaos that would have struck shortly after the main course. To say this was a humiliating experience for everyone present is an understatement; after all, if experts can't pick a bad chook then what hope do the rest of us have?! Seriously though, how could they, experts in food safety and standards, have missed whatever it was that caused such a culinary crisis? You would think at least one or two might have had some concerns and alerted their fellow gastronomy gurus to the problem, discussed at length the safety of the food, perhaps even visited the kitchen and asked some questions about their meal's preparation. You would think, wouldn't you? Alas, even with the enormous wealth of information found in that dining room, no questions were asked, and they were left with, (if you'll pardon the pun), egg all over their regretful faces.

As much as I delighted in this situation, I did have an 'a-ha' moment in my spirit. How often do we as Christians eat spiritual food without so much as a sniff of what's being offerred to us? Whether we're new to the faith and drinking spiritual milk (1 Cor 3:2), or we have been feasting on the doctrines of the Bible for many years, our spirits are in the same position as the food safety inspectors found themselves; susceptible to food poisoning.

Now I'm not suggesting for an instant that we become skeptical and start to question every single insight preached to us on a Sunday or presented at a Bible Study group. Rather, that we use widsom and become mindful of what we are hearing; start to think about the sermons that are taught and the lessons that are presented, and don't be afraid to ask questions if something doesn't seem right or just doesn't make sense.

Jesus himself demonstrated the dangers of spiritual food poisoning in his dealings with the Pharisees. These spiritual experts of the day had a very strict belief system based not only on the Jewish scriptures but the oral traditions of their ancestors. The rigidity of their 600-plus laws appeared holy but in essence they were nothing more than legalistic rules and regulations the Pharisees used to control the people. Jesus saw their 'fruit' for the rotten muck it was, and he challenged them in front of everyone, providing the perfect opportunity for others to start questioning the 'food' being given to them.

The Pharisee named Nicodemus was one such person who, having heard Jesus speak, dared to question; not only his life-long belief system, but also the truth of Jesus' new teaching. He neither dismissed what Jesus said, nor blindly accepted it without fully understanding it; rather, he sought out the teacher and bravely asked what he needed to know, "How can I . . . be born again?" (John 3:3).

Asking questions can be a hard thing; having one's preaching queried can be equally difficult. But if our motives are pure and our hearts are humble, we can help each other, not only to avoid spirutal food poisoning, but to see our spirits mature and start feasting on the meaty bits of God's Word.

After all, there's little in this world that can beat the combination of great company and good, wholesome, hearty food.

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This article has been read 721 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Cartwright05/31/12
I had to come and see if this was a deliberate typo. So glad I did. Excellent article, both for content and writing skill. Having been victim to both kinds of poison I can say from sad experience the spiritual variety is the worst of the two. Thankfully, though, there is a cure and it is called grace.
C D Swanson 06/02/12
I loved this whole thing...Great job with this entry. Clever way of bringing the topic forward. I especially liked this:
" But if our motives are pure and our hearts are humble, we can help each other, not only to avoid spirutal food poisoning, but to see our spirits mature and start feasting on the meaty bits of God's Word."

Thank you. God Bless~

Laury Hubrich 06/03/12
This is a wonderful devotional. You are right. We can't accept blindly what we hear; especially during these times. There are many false teachers out there. Good job!
Joe Moreland06/03/12
Excellent job with this article from the humorous predicament of the food safety experts to the more serious situation facing each of us. I loved the construction, the great alliteration and the concise point you make. Great job!
Allison Egley 06/03/12
This is good.

I would have started with the actual headline, rather than the line about reading the headline. It's a more compelling hook.

There are some great reminders here. Loved the story about the food poisoning. :)
lynn gipson 06/04/12
This is why it's important to keep our conscious contact with Jesus fresh. He alone is my guidance. I go to church to worship Him, and sometimes I have to remind myself the preacher, while a man of God, is only human. This is excellent!
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/04/12
You have very good points in this excellent devotional, and a great lead-in as well.
Dannie Hawley 06/05/12
Powerful message in this easily digestible piece! As with both kinds of poisoning, the indicidual needs to be willing to take the question to task. If something tastes a bit odd, don't just swallow it; at least, leave it alone. In truth, in both cases of poisoning, it is much easier to just let it go and regret it later. Excellent article, well done and interesting read.
Connie Walcott06/05/12
I love this story! The food poisoning is such a great analogy, and is an interesting way to present an important principle.

I really enjoyed reading this piece!

C D Swanson 06/07/12
Congrats! God Bless~
C D Swanson 06/07/12
Congrats on being 6th! God Bless~
C D Swanson 06/07/12
Oops! SO SORRY....Congrats on being FIFTH!!!! I pressed too quickly without my reading glasses! SORRY.

God bless~
Nancy Bucca06/07/12
Oh, I love this one. What a great message about possible spiritual food poisoning! There are so many different doctrine out there, we really do need to be careful. Sometimes I think it's possible to be infected with spiritual food poisoning and not even know it. I take comfort in the fact that just as the people in the book of numbers looked to the brass serpent to be cured of the poison of their snakebite, so can we be cured of such poisoning if we'll look to Jesus!

Congratulations on your placement!
Bea Edwards 06/12/12
Simply loved your article Helen.
The comparison with real and spiritual poisoning was brilliant!
The entire article was well thought out and executed.