Steve, when he was a teenager, was a prep cook at a truck stop very near his home. He worked night shift, and each night he prepared countless biscuits, gallons of gravy and pounds of bacon. He said the other day that he would never send out food that he hadn’t tasted. What he if had forgotten the salt, or some other key ingredients?
Methodists are well known for their covered dish dinners. In an effort to keep things interesting (for myself), when I have time, I like to prepare a casserole or some other kind of offering that I haven’t made before. This always makes me nervous. I like it best if I can prepare the recipe for our family first – a kind of taste test – before sending it out to the entire church family.
I also like to bake bread. I like the process; I like the preparation, and I definitely like the resulting bread. There are times when I also give it (the bread) away. Every recipe I’ve ever prepared makes at least two loaves of bread. Before I give a loaf to someone else, I always taste the one I’m going to keep. What if the bread is horrible? I don’t want to send nasty bread to someone.
Love is something that God asks us to give away. Do we taste test it first? Do we make sure that what we are sending to someone else is good and wholesome, rather than destructive or hurtful?
I wonder if perhaps the measuring stick that we need to use for our words and actions is what Paul calls the “fruits of the spirit” in Galatians 5:22-23:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.God has given us the means by which to recognize whether our actions and our words are loving or hurtful. Does the way we interact with one another bring joy and peace? Are we patient, waiting on either God’s timing or another person’s timing? Is our love kind? Is it gentle? Does what we do demonstrate the goodness of God? Are we faithful, and are we exercising self-control?
How does our love taste to other people? Is it smooth and wonderful like rich chocolate? Or does it pucker the lips, like super sour skittles?