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Life’s Lessons on the Mission Field – Part IX

Luke 10:8 – “And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:”

“Life’s Lesson” #9 is eating what is put before me. Without a doubt, not accepting someone’s food is not accepting someone’s generosity. I have been put to the test more than one time, but praise the Lord I was taught manners and taught to eat what is put before me.

When we first arrived to Argentina, we were invited to eat at someone’s house. Arriving when we were supposed to arrive and being nervous, we began to talk and waited on the food. This was going to be one of our first times to eat a real Argentine “asado” (meat on the grill). We sat at the table, prayed and was served our food. I thought nothing could be negative or wrong with meat on the grill, but I found out that not everything was placed on the grill was not meat. I was served intestines along with other parts of the animal. I began to eat, but did so very slowly to avoid receiving more on my plate. I ate everything that was given to me and to this day thank the Lord that I did …. because now those 2 people that fed us are some of the strongest leaders in our church today. What would have happened if we would have said no and not eaten the food that was given to us? I believe we could have been turned off in their mind and we would not be blessed with these great leaders in our church today.

Over and over we have seen the importance of this “Life’s Lesson”. On deputation, we could have offended pastors and church families that today pray for and support us. In language school in Peru we could have offended pastors and church people that loved us and taught us much about what serving God really is. Here in Argentina we could have offended and turned off many people that are now congregating faithfully in our church. So the simple “Life’s Lesson” is to eat what is placed before you.

Maybe my mom really was preparing me for the future when she made me eat peas and a number of things that I would prefer not to remember. Eating what is placed before you does not mean that one has to like it or eat it daily, but it does mean that one must think more of the people serving than they think of their own likes and dislikes.

1Co 10:25-27 says, “Whatsoever is sold in the meat market, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof. If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.” For some this passage may say a number of things, but I think we could all agree that Paul simply tells us just to eat what is being placed before us. What if it is parts on a cow or chicken or pig that I have never eaten or even thought that could be eaten? What if it is a snake, cat, dog, rat or any other animal that I would prefer not to eat? What if it is brains or blood sausage or a hoof or foot? What if …. There are many “what-if’s”, but in Luke 10 Christ told the disciples to eat what is placed before them and now in I Corinthians, Paul says to eat what is placed before you. So the simple truth is truly simple – just eat what is placed before you.

Am I willing to swallow something in order to win a person to Christ? Am I willing to hold my breath and keep something down in order to disciple a growing Christian? These questions must be answered individually by every person, but for me I have learned that this “Life’s Lesson” of eating what is placed before me can and have opened many doors of opportunity.

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