Bob knows pickles, or at least he looks like he does. I know pickles too, or at least I know what I like, and what I don’t like. It’s really quite simple—I like sweet pickles. It should also be noted that, for me, this also means I do not like dill pickles.
While I have never personally made any pickles, I have grown cucumbers, so that makes me a partial pickle expert. I will let you in on a not-so-secret concept from the world of pickles: The only difference between a dill pickle and a sweet pickle is what you soak it in. If you want a sweet pickle (and who doesn’t?), don’t soak it in dill brine.
If your cucumber is soaking in dill brine, you can wish all you want, you can play soothing music for the pickle, you can talk to it every day, you could even put it in a climate-controlled environment, but no mater how much you WANT it to be a sweet pickle . . . it will be a dill pickle.
This same idea—that there is only one difference between pickles, and that is what you soak them in—can be applied to your daily life in Christ. The only difference between you and me—who have been called to be a “holy nation, a royal priesthood, a people belonging to God”—and the rest of the world, is what we are soaking in.
So, when was the last time you took a good soak in the Word of God?
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16 (NIV)
We are called to be “holy people, a royal priesthood.” The life of sanctification is not just wishful thinking, or pleasant music, or kind talk. The sanctified life, the “Holy Life,” takes continued soaking in the good stuff of God, His Word, His Sacraments, His Fellowship. That life comes by making sure we are not losing our focus and being flavored by the world.
I seem to come back, time and time again, to the words of Paul as he called us to stay focused on what is life-giving and flavor-enhancing:
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV)
So, go ahead and soak in a little “holiness” today, and let the peace of God make you “sweet” unto salvation!
P.S. Thanks Keith Ferrin for passing on the pickle idea!