When my first granddaughter was a toddler, she would take the lemon slices from tea and eat them down to the rind. There’s no accounting for taste, is there? Most people won’t eat lemons in the same way they do apples, oranges, grapes. They do look past the sour citrus and make them into very sweet things – lemonade comes to my mind first, then Helen Crussell’s lemon pie.
I have Helen’s recipe. It is awesome, and I’ve included it on my Recipe Collecting site. Helen made it several times a year, but always for my Dad when they celebrated his birthday. She took something sour and made it very sweet.
How are we at looking past sour people and seeing the sweetness that God’s love adds to lives? I must admit, I’m not very good at that.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)
Whosoever believeth – not just the “good” people, or the people who have the same doctrine and values I do. In fact, sinners are the whole focus:
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. (Luke 15:7 KJV)
Yes. There is rejoicing when a person we’ve looked down upon - or through, or simply ignored – discovers that God is love, and has loved us forever.
We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19 KJV)
Don’t stop there. Continue reading:
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (1 John 4:20-21 KJV)
Even the ones that leave a sour flavor in our day.
There are times when we are to leave people out of our lives and allow God to work with them in other ways:
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. (Matthew 10:14 KJV)
And, there are some who will leave us because we are doing God’s will:
For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: (1 Peter 4:3-4 KJV)
That’s still their decision, not ours, to do the “will of the gentiles.” Nothing we can do or say will change them – only their own choices. Perhaps that is what gives us the sour flavor, that it’s not within our ability to change another. It is within us to send forth sweetness.
Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? (James 3:11 KJV)