There are certain foods that just call my name. Unfortunately, the foods I most crave are not what I would call the healthiest foods.

  I love pineapple upside-down cake . . . Ooo, and then there’s chocolate sheet cake . . . If it’s out on the table, I can’t pass by without cutting off a piece and popping it in my mouth.  On the other hand, there are foods that I don’t want to even look at.  Green bean casserole puts me in a bad mood just thinking about it.  I was forced to eat green bean casserole at a family Christmas party when I was a kid . . . I shivered with every bite I took.  I ended up running to the bathroom where I chucked my cookies . . . I just made it!  As gross as getting sick was, I think I found the casserole to be better on the way up than on the way down.  Even now, just writing about the casserole makes me shiver.

I’ve decided that people and my relationships with people are a lot like my relationship with food.  There are individuals that I love being around . . . people I seek out like chocolate sheet cake. I can never get too much of them. And then there are those people that, like the green bean casserole, make me sick . . . I want to avoid them.  The mix of dried onions and cream of mushroom soup that makes up their personality causes me to shiver when I think about them.

The good thing is, I’m old enough now that I can fill my own plate.  I can avoid any people that I have not acquired a taste for . . . That is, if I want to ignore God’s mandate.  The problem is, His plan is for me to be different than the world.  There is a series of “Ifs” in Luke 6 that begins with verse 32, “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.”  Hmm, great . . . Rather than avoid those I haven’t acquired a taste for, I’m supposed to load my plate up and shiver.

Luke 6:27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic[b] either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (, ESV)

More than just a BELIEVER in God, I need to be a FOLLOWER of Jesus!