Greg Spires – Teaching Pastor
It can be difficult to identify a good cantaloupe at the grocery store. If you have had a bad run of selecting cantaloupe, you might be tempted to ask the people you know how they select a good melon. Likely, you will receive as many answers as people you ask.
Many people use the tap or thump method. You see them standing in the produce section, holding a cantaloupe up to their ear. Some gently tap it with their finger, others rap on it with their knuckle as though they were knocking on a door. Still, others whack it with the palm of their hand. What are they listening for? Some say it should sound hollow. Others say it should sound anything BUT hollow.
Some shoppers scoff at the cantaloupe smackers. These shoppers are all about smell. What are they smelling? Some smell the stem end. Others smell the blossom end. Others smell around the cantaloupe indiscriminately. Some think that a sweet-smelling melon will taste sweet. And, as you might expect, others say a sweet-smelling cantaloupe is passed its prime.
Finally, we have the webbing inspectors. These shoppers will inspect the webbing as though they were a forensic scientist working a crime scene. The will look for just the right amount of raised edging, but not too much. They will feel all around the cantaloupe searching for any imperfection.
The point is that people will use their experience, and the experience of others to be a good judge of quality. In fact, the Bible applies this same type of thinking to our lives as followers of Jesus. The Bible calls this wisdom, and we should be growing in wisdom as we walk with the Lord.
Philippians 1:9 says, “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment.” We are called to grow in what we know and our ability to discern what is good. This is not always easy, even for those of us who love the Lord.
In the Old Testament, we read about Samuel who was given the job of anointing the next king of Israel. He was sent to the house of Jesse and was to anoint one of Jesse’s sons, the one God would show him.
When Samuel met Jesse’s sons, he presumed that the one God would select would be the one that looked most kingly: handsome, tall, strong, and the oldest. But Samuel was wrong. God looks for quality in ways that we don’t.
1 Samuel 16:7 gives us insight into God’s thinking, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’”
To grow in knowledge and discernment, we must understand that the goal is not to SEE. Rather, the goal is to see as God sees. This requires humility because the Bible makes it quite clear that by default, we don’t see as God sees. We evaluate people and circumstances through a filter that is informed by our own interests and experiences.
When we meet people, we can experience the joy of wisdom by seeking to find out what God sees. One thing we know for sure: God sees someone He was willing to die for.
We can also experience the joy of gratitude when thinking about the circumstances we find ourselves in. We look at the difficulties we face and assume they must be bad because it is so hard. But the Bible gives us a better view: God only works in us from His goodness. He only puts us in circumstances that are difficult to form Jesus in us.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together! This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in Philippians 1:9-11.
See you Sunday,