Don’t Be a ‘Chocolate Only’ Christian

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Don’t Be a “Chocolate Only” Christian! 

Through Jesus you can also experience genuine peace within yourself. Internal peace is a sense of wholeness, contentment, tranquility, order, rest, and security. Although nearly everyone longs for this kind of peace, it eludes most people. Genuine internal peace cannot be directly obtained through our own efforts; it is a gift that God gives only to those who believe in his Son and obey his commands (1 John 3:21-24). In other words, internal peace is a by-product of righteousness. This truth is revealed throughout Scripture:

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” (Isa. 26:3).

“The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever” (Isa. 32:17; cf. Pss. 85:10; 119:165).

“If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea” (Isa. 48:18).

These passages show why it is impossible to experience internal peace if you fail to pursue peace with God and peace with others. Internal peace comes only from being reconciled to God through his Son, receiving his righteousness and the power to resist sin, and then obeying what God commands. “And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us” (1 John 3:23). By God’s design, the three dimensions of peace are inseparably joined. As one author expressed it, “Peace with God, peace with each other and peace with ourselves come in the same package.”

Taken from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 46-47

Food for Thought

Authentic biblical peace is like Neapolitan ice cream. Peace with God is like the chocolate. Peace with others is like the vanilla. And peace with ourselves is like the strawberry. Some folks, when presented with a carton of Neapolitan ice cream, eat only their favorite flavor (usually the chocolate, right?) before putting the 1/3-empty package back in the freezer. When subsequent snackers drop by, they become crestfallen: Neapolitan without one of the flavors just isn’t Neapolitan!

 Much of modern Christendom is like this. “Christian” is too often understood only to mean “at peace with God.” Rarely are Christians encouraged to dig their spoons into the vanilla and strawberry dimensions of the faith: making peace with others and experiencing peace within. Sure, the chocolate is important–you might even say it’s the “best part”, but Chocolate-only Christians will never change the world. Blessed are the true Neapolitan peacemakers, for they will not be confined to the freezer for long!

Ok, this is kind of a silly analogy, but I love the Isaiah passage.

17 This is what the LORD says—
       your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
       “I am the LORD your God,
       who teaches you what is best for you,
       who directs you in the way you should go. 
 

   18 If only you had paid attention to my commands,
       your peace would have been like a river,
       your righteousness like the waves of the sea. 
  

  19 Your descendants would have been like the sand,
       your children like its numberless grains;
       their name would never be cut off
       nor destroyed from before me.” 

 Isaiah 48:17-19

Comments? Whats your favorite ‘flavor’? Kristina

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3 responses »

  1. Maybe it’s just how I’m wired, (but I don’t think so),…but I have a strong inclination to be “at peace” w/ other people in all my relationships…they seem to be so interwoven that if one ain’t right then the other one isn’t either….what I’m saying is, they “police” each other pretty effectively..now the 3rd one…peace w/ myself is my favorite…I don’t always understand myself (why I’m feeling “bothered”) in a given situation, which is probably one of the reasons I blog…I’ll put what’s going on right out there on the table for the whole world to see…and in the process of interacting w/ others, things will often times sort themselves out.
    DO you still eat ice Cream now that you are on this healthy food thing?
    ~~not very often, my favorite cake for my b-day is the dairy queen ice cream cake. i did eat a dove bar in mexico, but its not my favorite snack food, i like crunchy and salty.

  2. Funny about the Neopolitan ice cream. Growing up, it was always the chocolate that got left in the freezer to turn rubbery. Of course, as a kid, I thought that was how it was for everyone and wondered what the point was, putting in three flavors when no one ate the gross chocolate.

    A few years back my husband’s sister said something like “remember when we were kids and the chocolate (of Neopolitan) always dissappeared first?” What a glimpse into my husband’s childhood!

    Now I buy mixed flavors of sherbet and serve them out evenly to my kids! But I do buy chocolate ice cream sometimes, for the two people here who like it.
    ~~mm, i love sherbet. my boys have to have the stuff with all the chunks and fudge in it. How can we adapt that to love for someone? thanks for commenting.

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