It’s good for you

Kale 2

by Christine Berglund

Kale was certainly my least favorite vegetable growing up. Perhaps it is because we ate so much of it, and it was served with plain boiled potatoes, which I still dislike.

No matter, I had not subjected myself to this distasteful vegetable for a long time until about a year ago. I sampled some kale chips made out of dehydrated kale leaves that were heavily spiced, and I decided that they were actually quite tasty.

So here we are, growing something nutritious and hoping I can make a palatable snack out of it.

I feel a little foolish growing something I really don’t like, but I do like staying as healthy as possible, and kale is somewhat of a “super food.” It is chock full of minerals and vitamins, especially the anti-oxidant Vitamin K. It is becoming prized for promoting good eye and bone health, and for fighting cancer.

We tend to be like that with some scriptures. We use the “cafeteria style” of religion; taking what we like and leaving the rest for those goofy people who think a well-rounded diet of God’s Word is “good for you.”

Sure, we all have our favorite scriptures, but that’s not the problem. Like King Jehoiakim of old, there are still people who would take a knife and quite literally cut out the scriptures that they don’t like. (cf. Jeremiah 36:23).

Tensions are now rising in states and countries that try to legislate what a pulpit minister can preach about. Chaplains in the military are now told that they should not try to instill faith among the troops.

What’s worse is that some churches are now deciding to be silent on some key teachings in the Bible. We tend not to want to speak out on issues that may spark controversy.

This, my friends, is not “good for you.” Just as consuming a well-rounded diet will ensure that you get sufficient nutrients, learning and believing the whole counsel of God is truly “good for you.”

I may not love the taste of Kale or turnip greens, but I also don’t like the idea of my bones becoming brittle when I’m old. You may not like, for instance, how God narrowly defined marriage, but you sure don’t want to have the following scripture applied to you: “but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

You might say that I’m in good company in my disdain for certain vegetables in the Brassica family.

On March 23, 1990 George H. W. Bush announced “I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!”

While this probably didn’t significantly affect his health, too many of us feel that we are important enough to decide which spiritual direction we should take, whether or not it is good for our souls. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 16:25).

Paul stated that he “did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God” (Acts 20:27). The inspired writers didn’t pick and choose based on what they may have liked or disliked, and neither should we.

“Does not the ear test words, as the palate tastes its food?” (Job 12:11)

When some of God’s ways seem “unpalatable” to us, may we remember that the spiritual food he provides is good for us. Eat up!

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Christine (Tina) Berglund

Christine lives in middle Tennessee with her husband Gary, a.k.a. "The Yard Boy." They have served churches in eight states where Gary has preached full-time most of their married lives. The children have flown the nest, but they "baby" their plants now, and even get to visit grandchildren once in a while.

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