As a self-confessed foodie, I have to admit that flavour is really important in what I eat. Life’s too short for flavourless food, right!? So I love to add in a bit of this, and a bit of that, herbs, spices, chillies, and experiment with different ingredients.
A great way to add flavour is to create a marinade to leave your core ingredient soaking in for a while. Maybe a couple of hours, or if you’re really organised, even overnight. You might give it a bit of a massage with the marinade, to make sure it really permeates. Now, whether you use a pre-made product or make up your own, marinades will have similar properties – they add flavour and they also usually have a tenderising effect. That is, they change the nature of the core ingredient. If they just stay on the outside, they haven’t done their job!
So, let me ask you this: if you were the core ingredient, and the life you lead is your own personal marinade, what is your flavour?
It’s worth considering what we allow ourselves to ‘soak’ in. What are the ingredients that make up your ‘flavour’? Whether it’s the influential people in our lives, whose words we give weight to; what we allow our eyes to watch, and our ears to hear; or what we allow our mind to meditate on…
Paul says in Philippians 4:8: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
It’s like Paul is giving us a recipe for a ‘mind marinade’! Think on these delicious things, he says! Why does he want our mind soaking in these sort of thoughts? Consider the alternative… instead of truth, we thought about lies; instead of things that are noble we thought about dishonourable things; instead of justice we thought about injustice; impure instead of pure, horrible instead of lovely… I don’t know about you, but the very idea of spending time on all of those opposites all the time is pretty gloomy! Negativity, bitterness and darkness are the likely fruit of these thoughts. And yet how often do we do exactly that? Even without intending to, the world around us can take us there via news and social media in a flash.
Now there’s nothing wrong with considering the injustices of this world, or identifying lies (in fact, it’s a really good, wise and Spirit-led thing to do!) But calling it out, taking action, righting wrongs and speaking truth over lies looks very different to marinating in the alternative.
Marinating in God’s Word, is one of the best ways to ensure we are ‘Kingdom flavoured’ ourselves. When we read it, think on it, journal on it, talk about it, listen to it, allow it to soak in… we engage ALL of our senses and literally allow it to permeate us to our core. Hebrews 4:12 says For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. It’s actually more like the Word reading us, than us reading the Word!
The Word actually recalibrates our thinking. When our ‘innermost thoughts and desires’ come to the surface and we allow Him to tweak them, to bring gentle correction, to guide them and to champion them… well, that sounds like a core ingredient being tenderised and transformed to me!