I am not picky with food. Sure, there are certain things I prefer, but there’s not a whole lot that I won’t eat or, at least, attempt to eat. I’m convinced that ranch dressing was created for people like me so that, in the event of meeting a less desirable food, we could be happy anyway.
There is, however, one food that ranch dressing cannot dress up. The only way to appropriately deal with this food is with gasoline and a match. Then add a touch more gasoline. This food is hominy. I haven’t eaten it in at least 20 years, but my tendency is still to make dry heaving noises when I pass it in the grocery store. My aversion doesn’t make a lot of sense considering I like corn, but its Evil Cousin, Hominy, should be removed from the earth and replaced with popsicles or something else good.
Someone is reading this and is saying, “I love hominy!” I don’t understand you and I have compassion on you for the horrible childhood you must have had that drove you to this kind of madness. But the law of averages says that there have to be people that eat that stuff. And that fact boggles my mind.
I’m done trashing hominy but, just because there are no more words written about it, my loathing for that vegetable still runs strong, just so you know. And I’m willing to bet there is some kind of food that you’d like to give the torch and pitchfork treatment to. Something you hate, something that you would consider tortuous to eat.
Now think about how we are as believers. We all have preferences and things we like. But there are things that we really don’t like. Might I even suggest hate? There have to be some ideas in Evangelicalism that drive you nuts and make you want to say nasty things about the people who started a certain tradition or trend. At least I feel that way about certain things. Not about doctrine or core issues, but preferences.
But somewhere, somehow there is a person or a group of people who think the exact opposite about the thing that you can’t stand.
“Every head bowed and every eye closed is a great idea!”
“I can’t believe they’re actually using drums and guitar for the music!”
You can pick your side in those fights. I just thought I’d stir the pot a bit.
I tend to be a very opinionated person. In fact, I think everyone is entitled to my opinion.
But when I disagree with other believers on matters of preference or structure, I don’t get to treat them the same way that I’d like to treat hominy.
I can keep my preference, but I have to get along with them. I have to be sensitive that I can be a brother in Christ to someone who almost literally holds the exact opposite opinion on how things ought to function. I haven’t met that person yet but, when I do, I’ll know God is punishing me for something.
Churches split, Hatfields shoot McCoys, feelings are hurt, and relationships are damaged just because the religious equivalent of “chicken or beef” couldn’t be resolved in a peaceful manner.
1 Corinthians 13 is read at weddings too much and gushed over far too often because it’s the “Love Chapter.” But the love it’s talking about is willingly self-sacrificial and shows deference in the face of offense. As someone who wants to be right and wants to win, showing that kind of love requires a lot of effort for me. Not as much as it used to, but it’s still tough.
The moral of the story is that I still refuse to eat hominy. It’s proof that all of creation has fallen. But with fellow Christians I should see love as the spiritual ranch dressing. Not for cannibalism, but as the way to make things that I don’t like easier to accept.
If my effort is spent in loving instead of winning it’s likely that a preferential impasse won’t turn into loathing.
By the way, did I mention that I hate hominy?
*Photo credit: Brad.K