The other day, as I was rummaging through my pantry looking for something to satisfy my sweet tooth, I realized that people are often like gluten-free food. Let's face the truth. Anyone who lives with a chronic illness is different. Being sick doesn't make us worth less than those who aren't sick, but it does make us different. The problem is that like gluten-free food, we often decide that being different is a bad thing. Once we begin to think like this, we allow our sickness to cause us to become negative and bitter. But just as all the gluten-free cake and cookie mixes leave a bitter taste in a person's mouth, our negative outlook on life will also leave a lingering aftertaste of bitterness in the lives of others.
We often forget that being a child of God doesn't change once we have been diagnosed with a disease. Just because we are chronically ill doesn't mean we have the right to become negative, cynical, bitter, uncaring people. We are still called to be a witness for Christ. There are many people who need to hear that Jesus died on a cross for them because He loves them, but no one will listen to a person claiming to be a Christian who leaves a nasty aftertaste.
Being different doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. We can choose to let our sickness make us better than we were before we became sick, but it is something we have to consciously decide to do. It requires effort on our part to taste like the gluten-free brownies, but when we choose to become better because of our sickness, people will notice the positive difference and want to know our secret.
So what do you taste like? Are you like the majority of gluten-free desserts which are bitter and leave a horrible aftertaste, or are you like the decadent gluten-free brownies which leave people wanting more?
"They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous...But that is not the way you learned Christ!...Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." ~ Ephesians 4:19-20,31-32 (ESV)
(c) June 13, 2012