[forthright] Where is the Flavor?

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Sat, 02 Sep 2006 15:59:05 -0500
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

COLUMN: Field Notes

Where is the Flavor?
by Michael E. Brooks

"But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more
and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet
live, to mind your own business, and to work with
your own hands, as we commanded you" (1
Thessalonians 4:10b,11).

South Asia is notorious for its hot curry. A
Bangladeshi friend says, "no chili, no taste."
Without lots of fiery pepper the food is
considered "sweet" (i.e., bland and without
flavor) and is not enjoyed. This is also the
attitude of many towards life. Without the spice
of "adventure," life is dull, lacking pleasure and
excitement. They seek trouble, danger, fast-paced
entertainment, or the stimulation of drugs.

These things do not honor God, they do not help
societies, and they do not enrich one's own life.
They are a deceitful illusion, good only for
leading us to destruction. The Bible exhorts us
rather to seek a quiet life, minding our own
business and doing what is good and profitable. It
is this which leads to ultimate enjoyment and
satisfaction. Paul teaches us to pray, "that we
may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all
godliness and reverence. For this is good and
acceptable in the sight of God our Savior" (1
Timothy 2:2,3).

The truth is that every life contains enough
trouble to fulfill anyone's appetite. Between
concerns for the necessities of life, the
multitude of temptations we face, opposition and
persecution from wicked men, and the threats of
accident, violence, and disease, there is plenty
of "spice" for everyone. Jesus taught, "Therefore
do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will
worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day
is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:34). Though this
verse is really about unnecessary concerns, it
emphasizes our point –- there is "adventure"
enough and to spare in the ordinary business of
life. We don't need to search for more.

It is far better and more productive to spend our
time and energies simply doing good. "Remind them
to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey,
to be ready for every good work" (Titus 3:1).
Nothing is more characteristic of the true
Christian than good deeds. Jesus came as a servant
to the needy; his followers are commanded to do
the same (John 13:14,15). There is great
satisfaction and reward in helping others. No one
whose life is spent in doing good is bored,
dissatisfied, or lacks pleasure. God's rewards are
great and certain.

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