Recently our youngest daughter was found to have a severe dairy intolerance. This has caused us to do a lot of research into dairy alternatives and to pay a whole lot more attention to the ingredients in the foods we consume. Did you know there is dairy in hot dogs??
While there are a lot of great dairy substitutes out there that have allowed us to make the same foods she enjoys, what has been probably the hardest for Clara is the loss of convenience. She can no longer get pasta with butter sauce or have a treat during the church’s coffee hour. She can’t enjoy our favorite ice cream place or grab a slice of that extra cheese pizza we ordered.
This got me to thinking about other areas of our life that can be like this. We consume and consume and consume lots of things around us: the news, shopping, gossiping, complaining, etc. Maybe we need to pause and take stock of what is actually causing some intolerance reactions. Are you finding it hard to get a good night’s sleep? Are you down more often? How is your health? Do you feel unsatisfied with your life? You may actually have developed an intolerance to unrighteousness. It isn’t convenient and will make you pay more attention to what you consume with your senses.
Remember that righteousness is living by God’s truth. What is that truth? That we are loved for who we are and that we are called to do the same.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 NIV
““Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”” Matthew 22:36-40 NIV
Think for just a moment how your life might change if you found better substitutes for the “ingredients” that didn’t make you feel good. What if you didn’t take part in the normal town gossip but instead checked in on a friend or an acquaintance that you knew was going through a hard time? What if you intentionally read news stories of the good people are doing in their communities rather than reading through the hateful commentary on social media? What if you made one more coffee at home a week rather than buying it and then donated that saved money to the local food pantry? What if you put down your phone or tablet earlier in the evening, choosing to read a book before going to bed at a decent time, giving your mind and body a chance to pause and be refreshed? What if you started your day by spending a few minutes with God in prayer and in His Word rather than in a frantic sprint onto the next thing? How might your life change if you made these more intentional choices?
I pray that as we navigate this life we were called to live we can love ourselves like Jesus loves us and choose to consume that which is good for our spiritual health and not just convenient in the moment.
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV