As believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. (James 2:1)
IT DIDN’T TAKE MANY cooking shows for Don to figure out that making reductions would become one of his favorite culinary activities. He could combine any number of ingredients and a little liquid into one saucepan, cook it down and give a totally distinctive and new flavor to dishes he’d cooked for years. Sometimes he followed the instructions from a cooking show to the letter. Usually, though, he improvised a bit and put ingredients together based on his own palate. When a side dish like rice looked too bland on its own, Don would begin with a base like chicken broth and add a smidgen of Thai chili paste with two tablespoons or so of honey. Boiled down a bit, combinations like that turned mundane meals into adventures of flavor.
More often than not, the distinctive flavor of Christian faith comes through when we “boil it down.” Prompted by the Holy Spirit, James boiled down the issue of favoritism with a distinctive Christian flavor that rejects preferential treatment based on economic status and outward appearances. He made it into an issue of loving our neighbors as we love ourselves, and that God expects us to follow His royal law and reject favoritism from the heart.
Sometimes our faith journeys become complicated. James provides us with a sound example of boiling down issues into the plain language of faith that flavors our everyday lives.
Today, “boil down” a complicated issue to add flavor to your faith.
Steve Wamberg is a husband, dad, writer, and pastor who loves preaching, teaching, music, coffee, and Nebraska football.
© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.