Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Over the years, I've learned there is a nice way to say almost anything.  I've applied that truth by Holy Spirit's power with great success.

Conversely, I've also learned that - for some things - only straightforward, blunt speech will do.  It largely depends on the circumstance and whom I'm addressing.

Jesus knew this, too.  When the scribes and Pharisees attributed God's powers of healing and restoration to the enemy, in the presence of the multitudes, Jesus used a marvelously kind analogy to caution against committing the life-threatening infraction of blaspheming against Holy Spirit.  He said,
"Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: and if satan cast out satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad.  Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." (Matt. 12: 25-26, 30-32)
But when it came to singly addressing the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees - the so-called leaders of the church - Christ's gloves totally came off.
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves!" (Matt. 23:15)
I like that.  There are definite ways of conveying truth, and Jesus knew all of them well.  He effectively used chocolate and peanut butter to navigate humanity's ignorant (uniformed) and often disobedient waters.

Tasty Metaphors

To me, euphemisms are chocolate, and blunt speech is peanut butter.

Chocolate delivers things sweetly without deterring the energy of the truth, whereas peanut butter is what it is; the more you get of it, the more it renders you speechless until it is properly absorbed.

Chocolate is used in two ways - man's way or God's way.  Man's way is as a deceptive (often cajoling) candy coating.  God's way is lovingly - to make the truth easier to swallow, accept, and receive.

Some people can only receive truth if it is delivered like peanut butter - straightforward, thick, bursting with oils and flavor.  Peanut butter coats the tongue with substance while blocking all other flavor sensations; it's the peanut, the whole peanut, and nothing but the peanut - take it or leave it.

Others must be soothed and uplifted with chocolate parable and analogy before the wakeup call of super-caffeinated reality finally hits home.

Sometimes chocolate works better wrapped around a little peanut butter.  Sometimes peanut butter needs a little chocolate mixed with it.  God knows how to apply them both successfully, and I find His methods fascinating.

How do you best handle and/or deliver the truth?  One thing's for certain - when Daddy is involved in your prayerful approach, you can trust His palate.  Rest assured, He will handle everything else.

Here's to obedient, flavorful relationships...

"...  fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
(Romans 12:11b)