Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Question (05/24/12)
TITLE: Bad Chook Causes Conference Chaos
By Helen Curtis
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<i>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>
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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